First Union: Fast Eddie's Future Bank

How Crutchfield is racing to revolutionize America's No. 6 bank

In 1951, Katherine S. Crutchfield took her son, Eddie, to the First National Bank of Albemarle, in the town of Albemarle, N.C., pop. 11,800. Escaping from the sticky heat of the Tarheel summer, the 10-year-old loved the feel of the cold marble floor on his bare feet. His mother, a teacher who had studied economics at The Women's College of North Carolina in Greensboro, whispered in his ear: "You might want to think about banking as a career." Young Edward E. Crutchfield Jr. quickly assessed the prospects. A gray-headed man he recognized, Hazel Morrow, carefully counted currency, standing erect behind a desk, separated from the people of Albemarle by thick, black steel bars. Through a chest-high hole in his cage, Morrow doled out cash, circulating it to the free civilians.

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