Step Back in Time features news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.

25 years ago

july 13, 1994

A penny saved is more than a penny earned for Key Bank customers this month.

The bank promises to pay 55 cents for each roll of 50 pennies now through the end of the month.

Officials from Key Bank of New York, based in Albany, said Monday they could not get their weekly order of 1.5 million pennies filled by the Federal Reserve Banks of Buffalo and New York.

“We are looking at an alternative, and looking to customers who have jars of pennies at home,” bank spokeswoman Karla Rogers said. The offer is only good for current Key Bank customers and only up to $1,000 in pennies per person, officials said.

Wilber National Bank, based in Oneonta, doesn’t have a shortage of pennies and isn’t offering to buy the coins, a spokesman said.

Leslie Nieves of the Key Bank public relations department said newspaper reports have indicated there are penny shortages at East Coast stores and banks. However, the Federal Reserve Bank isn’t explaining the shortage, she said.

Officials from the Federal Reserve Bank in New York City didn’t return a telephone call Tuesday.

Terry Webb, branch manager of the Oneonta Key Bank, said local tellers haven’t faced a shortage of pennies but he expects customers to break into their piggy banks at home and bring in pennies since the bank made the offer.

“They need to arrive here rolled — that’s a requirement,” he said. “We expect some activity.”

Nieves said Key Bank won’t lose anything in the penny purchases because the bank spends money to roll coins and transport them.