Mobile banking in 1967
September 1967: Branch manager Richard D. Ayers unfurls a flag during the opening of a mobile Bank of America branch in West Covina.
Staff writer Thomas W. Bush reported in the Sept. 25, 1967, L.A. Times:
“The examiners are here this week,” says the young Bank of America branch manager. “I think they’re going to check the oil.”
And well they might. BofA’s Valinda branch in West Covina makes a round trip of about 12 miles per day, chugs along at a respectable 35 miles per hour and gets about five miles per gallon.
The branch, you see, is contained in a Condor camper coach, built on a Ford chassis by Kelson Engineering Co., El Monte.
But instead of bunks, stove and refrigerator, it’s equipped with a safe that’s bolted to the floor, an office and three tellers’ cages. The 26-foot-long vehicle cost about $25,000.
It’s BofA’s only traveling branch in California. Richard Ayers, the bus branch’s 27-year-old manager-chauffeur, has been its chief officer and engineer since June. He’s slated to continue in that capacity until early next year when he will move into the bank’s permanent location near the present branch’s parking stall.
Each morning at about 9:15 Ayers cranks up the branch at a service station near BofA’s main West Covina branch and fights traffic for 15 minutes or so until he reaches his branch location. There he plugs in the phone and opens the doors….
After his day’s work is finished, Ayers unplugs the phone, locks the safe, closes the door and drives back to the main branch, where he unloads the day’s receipts and does his paper work…
There are a couple of unsolved problems, he says. One is the absence of safety deposit boxes. The other is that there’s no night depository.
“It would be inconvenient for our customers to leave their night deposits tacked to the telephone pole,” he says.
A similar photo of manager Richard Ayers appeared in the Sept. 25, 1967, L.A. Times.
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