SINGAPORE — For the past decade, Mrs Chua KL, 56, has been depositing money into her ngân hàng account on Li Chun, an auspicious day that marks the start of spring on the Chinese calendar, and this year is no exception.

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Ili Nadhirah Mansor/TODAY Customers queueing outside OCBC bank at Toa Payoh Central on Feb 4, 2021.



Li Chun, the start of spring on the Chinese calendar, usually sees people queueing lớn deposit money at banks và ATMs seeking good luckThis year, the auspicious day ended at 9pm on Thursday (Feb 4)Some queues were spotted around town on Thursday but some customers and banks suggested it was quieter than previous yearsSome customers chose lớn transfer money online instead


SINGAPORE — For the past decade, Mrs Chua KL, 56, has been depositing money into her bank account on Li Chun, an auspicious day that marks the start of spring on the Chinese calendar, and this year is no exception.

“No harm if you vày it, but if you don’t, it will feel uncomfortable,” the housewife said, believing it is good luck to vày so. She declined to lớn give her full name.

This year, Li Chun started on Wednesday (Feb 3) at 9pm and ended on Thursday at 9pm.

Mrs Chua had already transferred money into her tài khoản via mạng internet banking, but decided to lớn deposit some money in person on Thursday once she saw that queues were short for the OCBC ngân hàng automated teller machines at Toa Payoh Central. 

Queues this year were shorter than previous years, presumably due khổng lồ the Covid-19 pandemic & the increasing popularity of internet banking, she said.

Some banks here & other customers also told TODAY that this year’s Li Chun was quieter than usual. Still, DBS ngân hàng reported an increase in transactions at its branches though it was unable to provide figures.

The generally shorter-than-usual queues were in contrast lớn long queues formed recently by people wishing khổng lồ obtain new ngân hàng notes for Chinese New Year.

When TODAY visited banks at Tampines and Toa Payoh around noon on Thursday, there were no noticeable crowds, though some relatively long queues were spotted at POSB and UOB ngân hàng branches in Tampines around 10am.

At the UOB branch in Toa Payoh, Ms Kang Lee Hiang, 59, had just put S$500 into her account.

This is the first year that Ms Kang, who does part-time administration work, deposited money specifically for Li Chun. “If you have more money, deposit more; no money, deposit less.”

Ms Kang decided lớn put some cash in for Li Chun this year since she was already helping her husband vì so.

Ms Chua Tee, 54, who works in renovation, has been depositing money on Li Chun for five years.

She usually deposits amounts with the "lucky" number eight, such as S$80 or S$28. "Eight" can sound lượt thích the word for "prosper" in Chinese dialects.

In previous years, Ms Chua Tee would queue for up to a half hour, but there was no queue when she visited an ATM in her Bishan neighbourhood on Thursday. “I think the craze died down already.” 

Mr Lee Kwat Wee, who works in administration, did not go to a ngân hàng or ATM to lớn deposit money in person.

Instead, the 53-year-old went online to transfer S$88.88 from one ngân hàng account to another on Wednesday at 9pm — the most auspicious timing for his Chinese zodiac sign, he said. He did not want to queue up at an ATM.

In response to TODAY’s queries, Ms Jean Oh, OCBC’s head of branch service và risk management, said: “We did not observe any unusual rise in footfall at our branches and ATMs for Li Chun.

“However, we have deployed 30 per cent more staff at our branches khổng lồ help with the expected increase in the number of customers in the weeks leading up to Chinese New Year. We also continue to lớn have safe-distancing measures in place.” 

A DBS spokesperson said: “In keeping with the practice of depositing money on Li Chun lớn usher in Chinese New Year, we saw more transactions at our branches (on Thursday).

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“In anticipation of the higher traffic, we deployed more manpower at our branches khổng lồ ensure that customer experience was smooth and orderly, and all customers practised safe distancing.”

Representatives from Standard Chartered and Maybank also said that they had not observed longer queues at their branches or ATMs for Li Chun.