Russia: Bank offers 'free cat with every mortgage'

By News from Elsewhere... reports from around the world, found by BBC Monitoring

Image source, Sberbank
Image caption, A promotional video makes the most of the bank's cat 'offer'

Russia's largest bank is apparently loaning cats to clients who buy one of their mortgage products - as a sign of good luck.

In what has all the marks of a publicity stunt, Sberbank - one of Russia's largest banks - says every new mortgage customer can choose the cat they want, and it will be delivered in time for their housewarming party, the TJournal website reports. The bank's slick website gives a choice of 10 breeds, and features a video showing the first happy clients receiving their cats. It's an advertising campaign thought up by a local agency, and reportedly features delivery vans with cat logos cruising the streets of Moscow.

The bad news for customers is that they won't be able to keep their feline. Terms of the offer say that the animal is only given so that it is the first to cross the threshold of the property - many Russians say a cat is sign of good luck to those moving into a new home - and is only available for two hours so the home-owners can take photos.

Image source, Sberbank
Image caption, Customers are given a choice of 10 cats on the promotional website

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