CHINA - One Chinese bank's offer to automatically transfer most of a husband's income to his wife's account has provoked fury in China, with some calling it "the most atrocious banking service against men in history".
On its website, China Merchants Bank (CMB), a major financial institution, describes its "capital accumulation" service as a "time- and energy-efficient" way for a couple to save money, reported AFP.
Using fictional newly-weds Xinyan and Wenhao as an example of a couple struggling to save for a home, an advertisement for the service reads: "CMB will check Wenhao's account balance on a daily basis.
"Once it goes over 1,000 yuan (S$200), the bank will automatically transfer the excess into Xinyan's account.
"Ever since they started using CMB's capital accumulation service, Xinyan and Wenhao have got on with each other even better and lived in happiness."
Traditionally, women have taken charge of household finances in China. But as the country modernises, attitudes have changed, especially among the young.
The advertisement set off a storm of controversy.
One mobile phone news service described it in a headline as "the most atrocious banking service against men in history".
The CMB service enables instant transfers between accounts and is not limited to family finance management, the official Beijing Daily reported on Monday, when there were more than 170,000 posts on the subject on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo.
Wrote one user: "The CMB service is far too atrocious - it is a boon for the ladies and a deadly blow for men."
'What a girl wants'
Xinhua news agency reported that celebrity microblog user Kai-fu Lee, CEO of Innovation Works, wrote: "Newly-married men must hate this bank for coming up with the idea!"
But some female Sina Weibo users seemed to approve of the concept.
"CMB knows what a girl wants," declared a female user.
Ms Ye Dandan, a client manager at a CMB branch in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, said the service is intended to make it easier for couples to pay bills.
"The advertisement was just using an example to tell clients how they could use the service, which does not only provide an opportunity for wives to spy on their husbands' salary," Ms Ye said.
She added that the service could also allow a husband to transfer money from his wife's account into his account.
And the service is available not just to couples.
Any individual with multiple CMB accounts can also sign up for the service and decide how much money is to go into each account every month.
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