Desperate Housewives of China's Bank Boardrooms
The Securities Times newspaper ran a curious story  this week of a trend spreading now throughout the country which has the owners of newly listed companies blackmailing banks to win honourary executive positions for their wives, among other perks. For these entrepreneurs, a bank executive wife is the latest ultimate status symbol.
The scheme was discovered in Shenzhen, but has reportedly been successfully carried out as far away as Hubei province. It starts with a company the man takes public to raise hundreds of millions of yuan which he then deposits in the target bank to serve as leverage. Either appoint her as deputy head of your branch, the bank is told, or I withdraw all my cash.
The wife doesn't need to know anything about banking, said the newspaper's unnamed source, she just has to play the part, hand out business cards and impress government officials and potential investors.
"Taking your company public can bring both fame and wealth," the man said, "I have a good number of friends and clients who have done the same thing as me. Their wives are all deputy heads of bank branches now, even with no knowledge of how banks function."
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