One of China’s leading private banks has been hit with a heavy fine for the issuance of fake wealth management products to clients.
China Minsheng Bank has been fined 27.5 million yuan (approximately USD$4.2 million) by the banking regulator in relation to the sale of fake wealth management products by its Hangtianqiao branch in Beijing.
Zhang Ying, the former head of the Hangtianqiao branch, has been banned permanently from working the Chinese banking sector, while a total of 13 Minsheng employees have received fines.
Minsheng employees Wang Tao, Wang Xiaohong, Li Yahui, He Shuqiong, Wang Fei, Wang Qiuyu and Gui Yanan all received 1 year bans on working in the banking sector.
Employees at the branch marketed the products as an exclusive offering for established high-networth clients with over 10 million yuan in financial assets.
Ms Zhang Ying, head of China Minsheng’s Hangtianqiao branch in Beijing, is alleged to have defrauded over 150 of its high net-worth private banking clients of as much as 3 billion yuan (approx. USD$440 million) by means of counterfeit wealth management products that were subsequently discovered by Minsheng itself to be counterfeits with phony serial numbers.
Zhang claimed that the forged wealth management products would provide annualised rates of return of 4.2% and 8.4% for one year maturities and six month maturities respectively, foisting them upon members of China Minsheng’s exclusive “Jingzuan Golf Club.”
The Jingzuan Golf Club requires that all members have been China Minsheng clients for over a decade, and possess personal financial assets in excess of 10 million yuan.