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116-year-old Mexican gets bank card after being deemed too old

Mexico’s Citibanamex bank has issued a card to a 116-year-old woman who was initially rejected because she was too old, which made her miss out on monthly welfare payments.

María Félix Nava and her family said the centenarian went without government support for about three months after a Citibanamex branch in the city of Guadalajara told her she could not open an individual bank account.

Over three months, she missed out on about $125 worth of welfare payments until Miguel Castro Reynoso, the Jalisco state development secretary, on Tuesday delivered a check to her in person.

Castro Reynoso handed her a check of $190 to cover April’s welfare payment and the previous missed payments from March and February.

On Thursday, Castro Reynoso visited Félix Nava again to give her a new Citibanamex bank card.

“When there is will, there is no obstacle or bureaucratic process that can detain,” Castro Reynoso said in a statement. “Doña Maria already has her card and from today she will receive her support without any setback.”

Citibanamex, a Citigroup Inc. unit, said the issue occurred due to a glitch in its computer system because it could not register people aged more than 110 years. Mexican transparency rules require state benefits to be deposited into individual accounts.

The Citibanamex employee who denied Félix Nava the account said the law prohibits giving someone over the age of 110 a card, Reforma reported.

“We went to the Citibanamex that is in El Álamo, where they had us for a while and then they told us that they could not give us the card because my mother was 116 years old and that the maximum was 110,” her daughter Marina Gutiérrez Félix said.

Local authorities recognize Félix Nava’s birth certificate, which states her birthday is in July 1900, as authentic.

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