Open a Bank Account, Drive a Ferrari

Alternative Marketing reports that banks in China are offering free rides in a Ferrari to customers who open new accounts with them.

Since foreign banks were permitted to start services in April this year, they have had to go all out to woo the Chinese customer. Persuading wealthier customers to walk in is proving to be tougher than they thought. So in come the freebies. Citibank has given out free Ferrari and Land Rover rides. Standard Chartered has offered wine tastings and luxury-goods promotions. HSBC has held seminars with economists flown up from Hong Kong.

I wonder if HSBC is on to something here…

Does it cost more to give a free ride in a Ferrari or to organize a seminar with an economist? Which kind of customer does each one appeal to? Which kind is more valuable?

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