Bloomberg Businessweek

Don’t Lie to the Bank of Taizhou

A Chinese lender finds a way to make loans to businesses the giant banks ignore
New employees of the Bank of Taizhou learn to count bills

At Bank of Taizhou Co., trainees are pushed to count money with lightning speed, mobilized to go after delinquent borrowers with the subtlety of an infantry battalion, and toughened up by former instructors from the People’s Liberation Army. The boot camp ethos would seem laughably bizarre if it weren’t for this: Bank of Taizhou is being called China’s most profitable lender.

The little-known bank specializes in lending to entrepreneurial businesses ranging from small equipment makers to plastic molding companies in the southeastern coastal province of Zhejiang. Its success shows it’s possible to lend to small companies—a sector that accounts for more than half of gross domestic product but is neglected by banks—and make good money doing it. There’s not

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