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Celebrating 50 years of banking

January 11, 2012
By MEGHAN McCOY - , Pine Island Eagle

A teller, who works part-time at Stonegate Bank, recently celebrated 50 years of banking.

Fran Snyder began working at Liberty Trust Company when she was 19 years old in 1962 for a $1 an hour in Maryland.

"I thought that was fantastic," she said about her pay.

Article Photos

Stonegate Bank Pine Island Office Vice President Elsie Stearns helped Fran Snyder celebrate her 50 years of banking last week.

Snyder went to school and graduated with an accounting degree and landed her first operation position at the bank because she was in the right place at the right time. She said when she first began working at the bank it was a prestigious job in a man's world. Snyder was one of the few women who worked in the six-story building.

There have been many changes in banking since she first started working in the profession.

"I started out working in operations before micro encoding was on checks," Snyder said.

She said she remembers working 80 hours a week because they printed their own checks at the bank.

Snyder purchased a sports car with the money she received from working overtime. She said, laughing, that she was too busy to pick up the car, so her dad had to do it for her because she was working so much.

The bank she worked at also had $1 million in hard cash, so they had enough money to give to those cashing their checks on payday because there was no direct deposit or check cards.

Another thing she remembered from her early days of banking was offering televisions and toasters to those who opened a bank account. She said the tellers had to load the televisions in the car for those who opened the account.

The bank back then was also the only place people went to obtain car loans and house loans.

"If you got a car loan from the bank it was a good loan," Snyder said.

The biggest change that Snyder has been faced with in her career occurred in the late '80s and early '90s - regulations.

"It is much harder today," she said about banking. "Banking used to be a simple thing."

On the flip side, Snyder said there have also been improvements over the last 50 years. The biggest change is now banks are mostly dominated by women instead of men.

"A big transition verses 50 years ago," she said, adding that it is great to see more women in the field.

Another change that she witnessed dealt with the process of opening a bank. She said it was a big ordeal to open a bank years ago, which has changed. Now more banks are offered for the people.

"The convenience of the variety of banks I think people appreciate," Snyder said.

Another difference she has witnessed that has been positive is the friendliness people experience when they walk in the door of a bank.

"Banks didn't appreciate customers and today they appreciate them," she said. "We greet everyone banks weren't friendly back then."

Snyder took classes for 10 years through the MBA National Bankers Association and was a member of the National Association of Bank Women.

Over the years she became a teller, head teller, assistant manager and manager at the various banks she worked for. Snyder retired from Wachovia Bank July 19, 2007, for two months before she began working again when Stonegate Bank Pine Island Office Vice President Elsie Stearns took her on board.

"You close your eyes and the next thing you know it;s 50 years," she said about working in the banking profession.

The job became a passion of Snyder's, something she continues to love waking up in the morning to go to. She said the bank turns into your family because of the trust and loyalty that forms when working close to the other employees.

"The people you work with are super," Snyder said.

She plans on officially retiring in the next five years.



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