Parodists occupy Wells Fargo’s new private bank

With Wall Street occupied and bankers in disregard, Wells Fargo should have been more careful in securing an online home for its new wealth-management arm, Abbot Downing.


Kevin Collier


Published Dec 12, 2011   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 11:56 pm CDT

When Wells Fargo Bank announced its decision to open a special advisory unit solely for families worth at least $50 million called Abbot Downing, some of its employees probably figured it would make money—but wouldn’t help their employer’s image in the eyes of the general public.

All the more reason why they should have registered, @abbotdowning on Twitter, and before a prankster did, over a month ago.

Now the bank has someone occupying Abbot Downing.

Some enterprising Internet denizens–presumably a 99-percenter–have registered all three Internet spots to make parodies of the extremely rich. Since the Wells Fargo subsidiary doesn’t yet have its own official site, the pranksters are currently the public face of Abbot Downing. (While Wells Fargo has at least registered, it currently has no content.)

The Twitter and Facebook accounts both rebroadcast content from, a Tumblr site. It consists solely of short messages, caricatures of what a doddering rich person would say.

“I must say these series of tubes fascinate me. Consuela, where is my afternoon tea?” reads a post from a month ago.

“Made my first friend on Facebook. Can’t wait to tell my old chap Zuck when I see him at zebra polo,” the site posted today.

Zuck, or Mark Zuckerberg as hoi polloi call him, went to Harvard before cofounding Facebook and becoming a paper billionaire. He’d be a great customer for Abbot Downing. But neither he nor Wells Fargo really need the negative press right now.

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*First Published: Dec 12, 2011, 6:19 pm CST