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China: Around The Nation

Chinese man becomes instant billionaire ... until bank realises error

Huge amount of yuan paid into customer’s account after clerk mistakes account number for amount of deposit to be paid in, news website reports

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 January, 2017, 3:29pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 January, 2017, 3:29pm

A Chinese man became a billionaire – if only for a few hours – after a banking error led to more than 1.2 billion yuan (HK$1.35 billion) being deposited into his new account, according to a Chinese media report.

The man opened his account at a Rural Commercial Bank in Wangcheng county near Changsha in Hunan province, on Saturday afternoon, the news website Sohu.com reported.

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Hours later the bank realised a clerk had inputted his bank number, 1212405260, as an amount to be deposited in the account. More than 1.2 billion yuan was put inside, the man told the news website Sohu.com.

The man was then called back to the bank so he could “return” the funds.

“It was already after 6pm when I came back,” the man wrote on his social media account: “All the staff at the bank were waiting for me. I was given a packet of cigarettes and a red packet [of money] when I left.”

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He also posted pictures of the bank receipt, with an official stamp.

It is not the first time large amounts of cash have wrongly been deposited in people’s bank accounts in China.

A woman in Sichuan province discovered that 496 million yuan had been put in her account at the Nanchong Commercial Bank two years ago. She contacted the bank and returned the funds.