Local residents have yet another banking choice in Brownwood, the Examiner has learned. According to our sources, the Agricultural Bank of China has purchased several recently closed Citibank branches. Citibank, based in New York, stated that the scaleback on rural services was a planned marketing manoeuvre, but residents were still upset.
“We know changing banks is difficult, but we would like to have your business back” stated branch president Bao Li Gao. “We still have the services that Citi offered, but in a different way. For example, we no longer issue Visa or Mastercard debit cards. We will issue UnionPay cards. Most of your local businesses are already set up to accept UnionPay. I saw a UnionPay sticker in the window of Taco Casa.”
Residents can look forward to speedy wire transfers, with an average wait of 4 hours, vs 48-72hrs with Texas Bank and other local stalwarts. “This is a bank that understands rural needs. We know that sometimes you have bad times on the farm and need money from your family. It could be that you have done such good harvesting on the farm that you have more money than you are allowed to keep and you need to send it to family to stay under quota too, but maybe that is just a Chinese thing.”
Along with quick transfers, multiple branch locations, and ZERO ATM fees, Gao stated that now would be a good time to switch your currency to yuan. “Our president, Jiang Chaoliang, is on the board of directors for HSBC and he sees how the global economy is going. He sees a market bubble building in the Brownwood area for dollar stores, banks, and payday lenders. The dollar will go down in value. You can keep your money with us in yuan and we will change it to dollars on the spot with whatever the prevailing exchange rate for the day is.”
Promotions will also play a big role in the new bank. “We encourage you to purchase Lenovo computers, Huawei, Xiaomi or ZTE telephones, Baofeng or Wouxun radios.. when you purchase from one of our Red Flag affiliates, we will discount your total price by 25% when paying with UnionPay card.” Another perk that customers can look forward to is the large and inviting lobby. “It’s more of a Cantonese thing, but we will offer dim sum at 10am and 2pm daily. If you show your UnionPay card, you can have free tea and snacks while waiting to speak to one of our trusted advisers. If you do not have a UnionPay card, go back to your terrible bank that gives you a ballpoint pen and maybe popcorn if the machine isn’t broken.” A buffet line is to be installed at a later date.
As going to the bank can be very stressful, and seeing a loan officer is one of the worst experiences possible, Mr. Gao reminds potential customers that deep tissue massage is also offered while waiting to see how terrible your credit score is. “We have to do innovative things to convince the yankees to use us as a bank. No happy endings though. We kick you out if you ask. That’s the dirty Laotians that do that.. not noble Han Chinese”
Investing in the community, the bank plans to open up a “Confucius Institute” where traditional Chinese culture will be taught, along with basic Mandarin classes. The Institute will also appeal to local sports fans, as Wulinfeng events will air on a large television. “Yi Long is becoming more popular with Americans, you can watch him fight and have an adjustable rate mortgage while your children learn how to speak our mother tongue!”
While these marketing measures may seem strange to outsiders, Gao assures us that “Community integration is important, and we have to do something different to get Americans to trust us enough to use us for a bank.”