One bank offers 16 6 oz steaks to the client who gets enough friends to sign up for new banking accounts.

Aside from paying taxes and dying, a bank account is pretty much a given on life's inevitability checklist.

Financial institutions march in lock-step regarding interest rates & fees. And with several branches & ATMs in every neighbourhood (and online banking), proximity isn't much of a determining factor either, so choosing a bank sometimes comes down to an account opening incentive.

The "free toaster" offer has become a well-worn cliché of FI marketing, but while it's a relic of a bygone era, banking institutions are still offering some interesting perks to get you to sign up. While Canadian banks are notoriously conservative when it comes to these incentives (the same conservatism kept us mostly dry during the financial storms of the past few years), the following is a list of some of the more interesting ways bankers abroad attempt to creatively court your cash.

* Video: Snake pops out of ATM
* Bing: Account sign-up bonuses