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Texas regulator issues consumer alert over Vietnamese group's ownership claims

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Texas regulator issues consumer alert over Vietnamese group's ownership claims

The Texas state banking regulator issued a consumer alert following an investigation by S&P Global Market Intelligence that revealed a Vietnamese company was falsely claiming to have acquired a small bank in Dallas.

As first reported by S&P Global Market Intelligence Dec. 15, Tin Thanh Group claimed it had acquired Oakwood Bank, a lender based in Dallas with $74 million in assets. News of the alleged acquisition was picked up and reported by a Vietnamese news publication. Oakwood Bank denied the deal ever happened and said it was looking into the matter.

The Texas Department of Banking issued a consumer alert Dec. 15, saying no relationship exists between Oakwood and the Tin Thanh Group or Tin Thanh Oakwood Bank Corp. It encouraged anyone with information about the Tin Thanh entities or associated individuals to contact the regulator.

Oakwood Bancshares Inc., the holding company for Oakwood Bank, also responded to the fake deal on Dec. 18 by issuing a press release that called news of the deal "utterly false."

Oakwood Bank CEO Roy Salley, in a Dec. 18 press release, said the bank was "unsure of the motives behind the [group's claims]" and "will continue to investigate this fraud." The bank is locally owned and has discussed the issue with its regulators and legal counsel, Salley reiterated.