The latest gimmick used by small local banks across China to lure new depositors includes handing out servings of expensive pork as a reward for opening an account.
Banks are being forced to go to greater lengths to attract new deposits, since they generally earn less money from lending and have fewer funding options than their larger peers.
The South China Morning Post reported that the fact that porkcould be seen as a desirable reward for opening a bank account also speaks to the country’s massive shortage of its favourite staple meat.
On Monday, clients who deposited 10,000 yuan (£109) or more in a three-month time deposit at the Linhai Rural Commercial Bank in Duqiao in Zhejiang province were then eligible to enter a lottery to win a portion of pork ranging from 500g to several kilograms.
“The money is still my own, and the interest is good. I’m happy to receive a piece of pork in addition,” one female client, who deposited around 20,000 yuan (£218), was quoted as saying.
According to the newspaper,the bank distributed 1,097 deposit rewards on Monday after scores of mostly elderly clients queued up in front of the bank from early that morning, the report said.
“It was quite a good idea and very popular among locals, especially the elderly,” said a bank staff member, who did not offer his name. He also refused to comment on how much money the bank had received in new deposits due to the promotion.
Other rural commercial banks in northern China’s Hebei province and western China’s Guizhou province have also launched similar pork rewards programmes.