Suburban Motown Bank Using Scarce Cadillacs to Lure Clients

Forget about toasters. The Bank of Bloomfield Hills is giving its customers the sought-after Cadillac Seville.

The bank, in an exclusive suburb near Detroit, is offering customers who buy a $250,000 certificate of deposit the option of taking the car instead of the 5.75% interest rate it now pays on jumbo CDs.

The bank's 200 private banking clients might well jump at the chance. Dealers are having a hard time stocking General Motors' new Seville, which went on sale in late September, buyers sometimes must wait three months.

The bank estimated that the average interest paid over the life of a $250,000 CD is about $38,000.

A Lease for $125,000

Bank customers willing to deposit just $125,000 can get a leased Seville, in lieu of interest, for 30 months.

The Bank of Bloomfield Hills, which focuses on private banking, has $33 million in assets.

Anticipating demand for the Seville, it arranged last summer with a dealer to reserve five cars that will be readily available to depositors and also negotiated a reduced price. The two-year-old bank sees the promotion as a way to cement ties with wealthy executives of the car companies.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.