Russia's Sberbank Hopes Free Cats Will Boost Mortgage Sales

Aug. 28 2014 — 14:31
Sberbank is offering a choice of 10 cats to mortgage-buyers, who will get the pet brought to their door by a new delivery service.

Russia's biggest lender, Sberbank, is looking to boost mortgage sales by offering a free cat to anyone willing to buy a property with money loaned from the bank.

The bank is offering a choice of 10 cats to mortgage-buyers, who will get the pet brought to their door by a new delivery service. According to a special website, KotoService.ru, the felines on offer include a ginger cat called "Apricot" and a hairless cat known as "Kuzya."

The gimmick appears to be an attempt to maximize profits from Russia's mortgage lending boom as people watch their savings lose value amid a sliding ruble and rising interest rates.

A short video on the website shows cats wandering around empty apartments accompanied by smiling homeowners.

Unfortunately, the cats must be returned to Sberbank after they have had the run of the new property. A popular Russian superstition maintains that it is good luck if cats are first to enter a new home.

The Central Bank said last month that the amount of mortgage lending in Russia was 35.6 percent higher than at the same point last year.


Russia Wins Gold at Rio Olympics
The flame for the 2016 Summer Olympics was extinguished in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro on Sunday, symbolizing the end of the Games. Russia finished fourth ...
Best of Moscow: Eight Ways to Enjoy the Last Gasp of Summer
A Moscow winter may not carry quite the same connotations as one in “Game of Thrones,” but it certainly signals the end of ...
Best of Moscow: Eight Ways to Enjoy the Last Gasp of Summer
A Moscow winter may not carry quite the same connotations ...
Russia Puts Privatization on the Back Burner
The privatization of shipping company Sovcomflot has been postponed to 2017, according to a Federal Property Management Agency ...