Virus-hit China offers ‘Free-Masks’ with bank accounts

China’s banks, focusing on kick start business following the coronavirus outbreak instigated a nationwide shutdown, have discovered an interesting way to attract customers: “free masks.”

Leveraging on Needs!

Economic activity is beginning to get into motion, following a period in which the government slash transport links and locked down cities at the end of January to curb the spread of the contagious virus which is responsible for more than 3,000 deaths in the country.

As the number of coronavirus cases decreased, lenders found themselves amidst policy initiatives to lend to virus-stricken firms, and the prospect of sour debt as companies coped.

To attract much-required custom, banks all over the country have begun to offer the hottest thing in town – masks, which is popularly believed as helping prevent contagion – to new customers for everything from signing up to an app to opening a deposit account.

However, the government has announced the peak of the virus has crossed, in few areas, there is still a shortage of masks and disinfectants as cities continue to restrict those without masks from entering public places.

At China Everbright Bank Co Ltd (601818.SS), customers who link their debit or credit cards to their WeChat pay accounts and transfer 0.01 yuan ($0.0014) will be provided with five masks.

“Everyone is very enthusiastic, it’s hot,” said Liu Huan, a person managing the offer at the bank.

The Massive Giveaway

At a branch of the Bank of Wuhai situated in northern Inner Mongolia, customers will get free masks if they register for fixed-term deposits of over 10,000 yuan ($1,428.78) or purchase 50,000 yuan worth of wealth management products, among different offerings, displayed a post on the lender’s WeChat account.

The Hunan Hengdong Rural Commercial Bank stated in late February it would provide customers who made deposits with masks, disinfectant and alcohol wipes.

Last week, Zhejiang Mintai Commercial Bank claimed it would offer masks to those aged over 50 who registered to their app.

Even Panzhou Wanhe Country Bank, a rural lender having just five branches in far Liupanshui in Guizhou province, began giving out two free masks to anyone opening accounts from March 6.

In a more interesting giveaway, in the coastal city of Qingdao, local branches of the state-owned Postal Savings Bank of China Co Ltd (1658.HK) had 100 masks a day up for grabs, which could be won by mobile clients by entering into a lottery.

On Monday, China’s economic indicators fell to historic lows. This was a piece of evidence that the effect of the virus may be far worse than majorly expected and is likely to weigh further on already struggling banks.

Hello, I’m Anna Yeo. If you like my news coverage, please drop a good word in my inbox. I’m journalist by profession and have been part of many major reporting across the globe. I like to write crisp and factual news. I have completed my masters degree in journalism. Feel free to contact me at [email protected]

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