World

Man Without Arms Denied Loan For Terrible Reason

| by Sarah Zimmerman

A man without arms was denied a housing loan in China because he was unable to provide fingerprints.

Wu Jianping, 25, lost both of his arms at age 5 as a result of a severe electrical shock, according to the BBC. He has learned to get by completely armless and has made a living as a teacher.

Usually, Wu provides his signature by holding a pen in his mouth. But, when applying for a housing loan, creditors told him that they would not accept a signature and that he had to be fingerprinted.

"Fingerprinting is a common practice because signatures can be imitated, but there is no way to copy a fingerprint," said an employee of one of the banks, according to BBC.

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Since Wu physically could not provide a fingerprint, his application was denied at every bank he went to. According to the Daily Mail, he was hoping to purchase an apartment for him and his fiancee to live in after their wedding. 

"I waited around five or six hours and the bank said there was no way they could get around the fingerprints," he told a local media outlet, according to Daily Mail.

The story went viral in China, according to the BBC, and led many to criticize the banks, saying that given Wu's condition, it's unfair that he should have to provide a fingerprint to make the contract legally binding. One user even questioned why the banks couldn't use a footprint instead. 

The current housing management bureau in Wu's hometown has responded to the story, saying that even though they also often require fingerprinting they have special paths for those who have disabilities, according to China Daily. 

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The backlash prompted several of the banks to reverse their decision and many are reconsidering their policies for the future. 

Sources: Daily Mail, BBC, China Daily / Photo credit: Alan Levine/Flickr

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