Spanish bank Banesto are offering customers brand new cars as an incentive to open new savings accounts.
While most banks are trying to attract investors with headline-grabbing interest rates, Spanish bank Banesto has raised the bar with an innovative new scheme designed to boost its balance sheet.
The bank, which operates as a subsidiary of Santander, Spain’s largest banking organisation and owner of British banks Alliance & Leicester and Abbey, has launched a campaign offering customers brand new, all expenses paid, cars in return for their deposits.
To take advantage of the offer investors need to save between €18,000 (£14,200 / $26,400) and €160,000 (£126,700 / $235,000) with the bank, agreeing to lock their money into an account for 24 to 36 months. The more money and the longer the deposit period, the better the vehicle savers get in return.
There is however one catch to this scheme, Banesto will not pay a penny of interest on funds held in these accounts for the duration of the fixed term.
While this is the most generous bank giveaway to date, Banesto are no stranger to ‘high value’ incentive marketing schemes, having previously caused a storm with gifts such as flat screen computer monitors, LCD TVs and dinnerware sets on offer to new investors.
Last year the bank orchestrated a special midnight opening to coincide with the launch of the PS3. They managed to attract many a new customer by offering potential depositors the opportunity to purchase the new console at a discounted rate if they agreed to a 24 month contract with the bank. Interest free loans to cover the cost of the console were also on offer to applicants.
Investors who take full advantage of this opportunity and tie-in the €160,000 maximum for 36 months will receive a Citroen C4 diesel in return. Savings deposits of €120,000 will be reward with a C3 Furior and €99,000 a Citroen C2. For those looking to invest a little less, Piaggio scooters will be on offer.
Both the Spanish banking and motor industries have been hit hard by the ‘credit crunch’ over the past 12 months and it is hoped that this joint venture will do much to raise their profile in the current economic climate.