A green scheme is stalled

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The Independent Online
Customer complaints have prompted Bank of Scotland to drop the promotion of a free prize draw for a car to people taking out its environmentally friendly GreenCard credit card.

The card, promoted as helping people make "a world of difference" through the bank donating a sum equivalent to 0.25 per cent of your spending to an environmental trust, also gives holders automatic entry to a free monthly prize draw, along with holders of all the bank's affinity cards. The draw offers the chance to win a new Renault Laguna RT saloon - which is not blessed with the more efficient "energy engines" Renault is promoting in its new models.

Anne Byant, product manager for GreenCard, says the latest GreenCard promotional leaflets no longer refer to the car draw, into which holders will nevertheless continue to be entered automatically. She admits the offer has not enhanced the marketing of a card claiming green credentials, but emphasises that the competition was aimed at people taking out any of the bank's 300-plus affinity cards. The bank is now promising to donate a sum equivalent to the value of the car to an environmental trust if a winning customer does not want the car.

This is not the first indelicacy to dog GreenCard, whose trustees include directors of Kew Gardens, the Natural History Museum and the president of the RSPB. When the card was first launched in 1991 it had the misfortune to be backed by the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). Like many others, Greencard Trust - the environmental trust linked to the card - then paid heavily for the demise of BCCI, languishing for more than two years without an income until the card was relaunched by the Bank of Scotland in 1993.