In less than half a year since a counterfeit bank was discovered in Nanjing, China, the founder of another fake bank has been arrested in Shandong Province. Although not quite as sinister as the previous unlicensed money lenders, this suspected fraudster seemed not so much evil as just stubbornly convinced that he could run a financial institution despite not knowing certain core concepts of banking such as allowing your customers to withdraw money from their accounts.

According to police, China Construction Bank was established by its president, a man by the name of Zhang, with the goal of providing loans to small business in the area. Up until this point the closest thing Zhang had to banking experience was running a furniture store. In spite of this, he was able to set up a fairly well equipped branch in Linyi City, but unfortunately was unable to pass the government inspection that would allow him to become a legal bank.

Having already come this far, Zhang decided to open his China Construction Bank for business anyway. By the middle of July it had gathered about 40,000 yuan (US$6,000) in deposits mostly thanks to its convincing appearance, which included anti-counterfeit warning signs for customers.

No one had any idea the bank was not legitimate until requests for withdrawals began coming in. After being refused access to their cash several times, ‘customers’ began filing reports with the police, who opened an investigation into the bank.

On 14 August, Zhang was taken into custody. The extent of charges against him is unclear as an investigation is underway, but it will probably go down as various forms of fraud. Still, this kind of crime is so bold and increasingly common there really should be a whole new name for it, in our opinion, something like “malensconcement”.

Source: News 163 (Chinese), Yahoo! News Japan via Toychan (Japanese)