Bank Run?

Posted by Amanda on January 29th, 2008


Since the new year, every time I pass this bank (which is on the edge of the market nearer to us, so basically everytime I go outside), there is a large, angry mob outside!  One day it was 2 or 3 times as big as you see in the picture, and I did hear yelling and murmuring.  I thought, if anything looked like a run on the bank, this did!  I kept seeing it several times and mentioned it to Darryl, who also noticed.

He asked someone at work about that particular bank, and got an explanation.  During the Soviet era, everyone had a certain amount of money in a bank account for pension.  Now, Russia has released that money for Ukrainians, but the bank is exchanging it 1 for 1 roubles and grivna.  In the past few years the Ukrainian Grivna has gone way up compared to the rouble, so people are getting significantly less money.  I’m not quite sure who decided this exchange, if it was one of the governments or the bank.

On Saturday morning I went out and as I passed that bank, I heard someone calling my name!  It was our neighbor, and she explained the same thing Darryl heard.  She was there waiting to get whatever money she could.  Apparently only one person is allowed to go inside to get this money at a time – hence the big crowd outside.