In Hong Kong or mainland China, lenders typically compete for mortgage business by offering better terms. But a Russian bank has come up with an unusual way to lure homebuyers: it throws a cat into the loan package.
Sberbank, the country’s largest lender, will let its mortgage clients choose from 10 breeds of cats on the bank’s website, and deliver the feline present in time for the housewarming party, according to Britain’s Metro News.
The marketing gimmick came amid a mortgage lending boom in Russia with people snapping up properties to preserve their wealth against a sliding ruble. The ruble has depreciated nearly 10 percent against the US dollar since the beginning of this year.
The catch is that customers don’t get to own the cat; it’s just loaned to them for two hours. Still, it’s a highly appreciated offer.
In Russia, cats are symbols of good luck, and many believe letting a cat into a new house before the owner will bring in good fortune.
The Chinese do not share such superstition, but Hong Kong and mainland cat lovers are likely to welcome a similar promotion.
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