CHICAGO (CBS) — Only customers with a net worth above $50 million can bank at the newest division of Wells Fargo in Chicago, and skeptical customers want to know why any bank would cater to just the 1 percent.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Michele Fiore explains, back in the 19th century, Abbot Downing made upscale custom stagecoaches. Today, the name is being attached to Wells Fargo’s bank for the ultra-rich.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Michele Fiore reports
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune explains that the bank is targeting only families with more than $50 million to invest, of which there are only about 10,000 in the whole country. The focus is particularly on baby boomers who have family businesses to sell, the newspaper reported.
The bank features special services including psychologists, leadership transition in family-run companies, staff to create family genealogies, the newspaper reported.
In addition to Chicago, there will also be branches in San Francisco; Los Angeles; Denver; Houston; Minneapolis; Philadelphia; Scottsdale, Ariz.; Charlotte, Winston-Salem and Raleigh, N.C.; and Naples, Jacksonville and Palm Beach, Fla.
But those posting comments on the Huffington Post Web site question the elite bank, repeatedly referring to the Occupy movements and the 99 percent.
“Well it would appear the descendant¬s of the old Robber Barons have finally achieved the two-class oligarchy their predecesso¬rs envisioned,” one reader wrote. “They will now replace our Democracy with a Fascist Oligarchy of the 1% of elitist around the globe.”
“By not creating jobs here and making money off foreign untaxed products, the vicious cycle of destroying this economy continues,” another reader wrote in part. “Now a bank for the wealthy? How far backwards are we going to go?”
Starting next month, a little competition, Wells Fargo rival U.S. Bancorp is starting a similar bank. Michele Fiore.