An Ohio woman who just turned 100 years old has taken customer loyalty to the extreme: She's still using a bank savings account that's been around almost as long as she has, since the year before World War I.
Associated Press reports that June Gregg recently mentioned to a friend that her account is the same one her father opened for her in January 1913, when she wasn't even a year and a half old, and the friend told the people at Gregg's small-town bank in southern Ohio.
"That perked my ears up, because I was like, `1913?!'" Doug Shoemaker, general manager of what's now a Huntington National Bank branch, told the wire service. The bank's investigation found out that not only was it the same account, but also that the account number changed only once, when Columbus-based Huntington acquired the plainly-named Savings Bank in the early 1980s, Shoemaker said.
Gregg still has the little blue passbook from when the account was opened with an initial deposit of $6.11. Her father, Gilbert, a farmer who grew corn, wheat and hay, was a Savings Bank customer and wanted his only daughter to learn thrift.
AP reports the compact, white-haired woman who tends to speak with a chuckle in her voice retired in 1976 after working for the post office for more than a quarter century. Earlier, she operated a general store, using the savings account for the business. Gregg opened her store in 1932, three years after she graduated from high school and received as gifts a $2.50 gold piece and a $5 gold piece, which went into the account.
Gregg said she never considered taking her savings elsewhere because she liked the bank, across the street from the Ross County Courthouse. Greg McBride, senior financial analyst for Bankrate.com, told AP it used to be far more common for customers and families to develop long-term attachments to banks, but that was before all of today's shopping around and bank name changes.
"It seems less prevalent today because we're seeing such consolidation and so many changes in banking, and incentives for consumers to move," he said.
Though she has a checking account to pay bills, Gregg said she uses the savings account for "personal dealings" and still goes to the bank regularly, though she lives in Bainbridge, 17 miles away.