Oleg Tinkov founder of Tinkoff Credit Systems accused Dmitry Argarkov of fraud (Reuters)
A man who altered the terms of his own credit card contract to give himself unlimited credit is suing his bank after it shut down his card.
Dmitry Argarkov, a 42-year-old from the western Russian city of Voronezh, received an unsolicited proposal to set up a credit card by Tinkoff Credit Systems. He responded by setting out his own terms and conditions, which he forwarded to the bank.
Put off by the interest rate, he changed it to 0% with no fees payable and no credit limit. He also added an amendment to the terms and conditions that meant that the finance company would have to pay him three million rubles (£60,000) for any change it made in the contract and would be fined six million rubles if it tried to scrap it altogether.
Argarkov forwarded his counter-offer to the bank - and received his new credit card.
"The bank confirmed its agreement to the client's terms and sent him a credit card and a copy of the approved application form," Argarkov's lawyer Dmitry Mikhalevich told Russian newspaper Kommersant.
"The opened credit line was unlimited. He could afford to buy an island somewhere in Malaysia, and the bank would have to pay for it by law."
After two years of active use the bank decided to close the account because Argarkov had fallen behind with the payments. It also sued him for 45,000 rubles for fees and charges that were not in his altered version of the contract.
But a Russian judge has ruled in Argakov's favour, saying the amended contract was valid and that Tinkoff was legally bound to it.
Argakov was only ordered to pay the outstanding balance of 19,000 rubles.
"They signed the documents without looking. They said what usually their borrowers say in court: 'We have not read it'," Mikhalevich said.
Argarkov is counter-suing Tinkoff for 24 million rubles, alleging that it broke the agreement by terminating the contract without paying him the cancellation fee.
"Our lawyers think he is going to get not 24 million rubles but four years in prison for fraud. Now it's a matter of principle," bank founder Oleg Tinkov tweeted.
"We don't have small print, everything is clear and transparent. Try to open a card - then we'll talk. Stealing is a sin. Not all in Russia think so," he added.
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