We’re all used to banks offering freebies to lure us into lending them our cash. They start us young – remember NatWest’s 1980s free piggy banks? – before giving us railcards or cold, hard cash as students.
Even for sober, sensible grown-ups, there’s a range of offers to tempt us to switch our custom.
But the oddest – but maybe the sweetest – offer yet comes from London-based Metro Bank.
Only up and running for a couple of years, it has 12 branches in and around the capital. Its rates are solid rather than spectacular. Instead, it promises a friendlier approach to banking.
Its branches open late during the week and, they won’t turn you away at weekends, either. Its coin-counting machines are aimed at encouraging children to save, while there are free lollipops, pens and dog biscuits.
Yep, dog biscuits. They love canines at Metro Bank. From time to time, if you bring your dog into a branch and open an account, they give you £20.
Not got a dog? Metro Bank doesn’t want you to feel left out.
Account holders who rehome a dog from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home will get their fees refunded by up to £105. If you’re more of a cat person, you can get up to £65 refunded for bringing home a tabby.
So you could, essentially, open an account and get a free dog given £105 is the Battersea rehoming fee. Or a heavily-discounted one, at least. How’s that for an unusual incentive?
Metro Bank’s Beth Murray says it has already seen "quite a few" dogs rehomed. Staff from Battersea also take dogs into branches to encourage customers to give them a home.
But rather than a business move, Metro Bank sees its dog-friendliness as symbolic — helping establish the bank into the communities it serves.
Indeed, founder Vernon Hill’s Yorkshire terrier Sir Duffield (Duffy for short) is a familiar sight at the bank’s Holborn HQ.
It’s part of a long-term link-up between Metro Bank and Battersea – which rigorously checks potential pooch purchasers – which has also seen the bank pay for a rehoming room to be refurbished at one of its dog centres.
The bank has also embarked on a partnership with the Kennel Club.
Of course, a dog is for life, and not just for any introductory bonus period. But would a pet-friendly bank make you want to switch your custom to somewhere new?
What do you make of this? You can leave your thoughts in the comments section below or in the MSE Forum.