Crocker National Bank was a United States bank headquartered in San Francisco, California. It was acquired by and merged into Wells Fargo Bank in 1986.

Logo of the Crocker Bank prior to its merger with Wells Fargo Bank



The bank traces its history to the Woolworth National Bank in San Francisco. Charles Crocker, who was one of The Big Four of the Central Pacific Railroad and who constructed America's First transcontinental railroad, acquired a controlling interest in Woolworth for his son William Henry Crocker. The bank was renamed Crocker Woolworth National Bank, later Crocker National Bank.

Crocker National merged with the First National Bank of San Francisco, founded by James D. Phelan, in 1925 to form Crocker First National Bank.[1]

In 1956, Crocker First National Bank merged with the Anglo California National Bank (established by Herbert Fleishhacker) to form Crocker-Anglo Bank.[1] In 1963, Crocker-Anglo Bank merged with Los Angeles' Citizens National Bank, to become Crocker-Citizens Bank. and later, Crocker Bank.

Crocker Bank building, Los Angeles
Picture of the Crocker Bank logo, as shown on a bank branch sign in the 1970s

In the 1970s and early 1980s, Crocker cultivated a reputation for customer service and convenience, including expanded hours. As a part of its promotional campaign, the bank gave various stuffed animals to new customers, including "Sunny", a teddy bear, "Crocker" Spaniel stuffed dogs, and a set of stuffed circus animal “Crockers”. It was also one of the first California banks to offer automated teller machine service. One early television commercial showed a young businessman confidently using the machine, while speaking to it as if it were a person. He was followed by an elderly woman approaching it for the first time, and greeting it with a very uncertain "Hello."

Crocker National Bank was purchased by the British financial institution Midland Bank in 1981, but after a series of financial losses, it was sold to Wells Fargo Bank in 1986. Crocker's executive vice president and two-thirds of the top 70 executives lost their jobs because of the merger.[2]

Other history


On April 21, 1975, a Carmichael, California branch of the bank in the Sacramento area was robbed by several members of the Symbionese Liberation Army. SLA member Emily Harris accidentally fired her shotgun (as she later said in a plea deal) and killed Myrna Opsahl, a 42-year-old customer and mother of four.[3][4]


Scott Adams worked at Crocker during his first years in the business world. He drew on this and other business experience when creating the Dilbert comic strip.[5]


  • James Sterngold (January 17, 2002). "4 Former Radicals Are Charged In 1975 Killing in Bank Robbery". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
  1. ^ a b "Histories of Associate Members". California Historical Society Quarterly. 44 (1): 83–85. 1965. doi:10.2307/25155718. ISSN 0008-1175. JSTOR 25155718. Retrieved 2021-08-03.
  2. ^ BRODER, JOHN M. (1986-05-27). "Wells Fargo Will Take Over 116-Year-Old Bank This Week : Crocker Nearly Gone but Not Forgotten". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2018-08-04.
  3. ^ "Myrna Opsahl | American Experience". PBS.
  4. ^ "A Son Has Been Waiting 26 Years for Justice". Los Angeles Times. January 17, 2002.
  5. ^ Gondo, Nancy (May 20, 2014). "Dilbert's Scott Adams Satirizes His Way To Success". Investor's Business Daily. Retrieved 2017-03-24.