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Opinion

Lebanon banking: “Another plastic surgery loan?”

Who said marketing stands at banking conferences have to be dreary?

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Lebanon’s First National Bank certainly tried to dispel that conception at Euromoney’s latest event in Beirut in May.

When we went to say hello, the two marketing officers at the FNB stand dispensed with the usual dry presentation of their institution, followed by the customary offering of a marketing pack. Instead, when asked what made the bank special, they promptly replied: “Plastic surgery.”

FNB, it turns out, made its name by offering a dedicated loan for such operations. Loans go from $1,000 to $5,000 and cover anything from Botox injections to heavier “beautification surgery”, as the bank puts it.

Talk about being sector agnostic. George Nasr, the bank’s marketing manager when the product was launched in 2007, noted there was “a huge increase in this sphere”. 

“This opens horizons,” he added.

Anyone who has travelled to Beirut can attest to the incredible popularity of plastic surgery there. Even one of the FNB marketers concedes there is “too much” of it. 

When the product was launched, FNB marketed it with the line: ‘Today you can have the life you’ve always wanted.’

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