Wells Fargo ordered to pay $103 million to USAA

Wells Fargo & Co. has been ordered by a federal jury in Texas to pay $102.8 million for infringing United Services Automobile Association’s patents for a mobile deposit system.

It’s the second trial Wells Fargo has lost against USAA. In November, a different Texas jury said the bank should pay $200 million for infringing two other patents.

Wells Fargo said it “strongly disagrees” with the verdict and said it’s considering its options, including a likely appeal.

USAA said it had pioneered systems to allow its members to deposit checks from just about anywhere because it doesn’t operate traditional bricks-and-mortar banks and its military customers are all over the world.

“Wells Fargo, and the rest of the banking industry, has benefited from our technology, and we look forward to working with banks to create reasonable and mutually beneficial license agreements,” Nathan McKinley, USAA’s vice president of corporate development, said in a statement.

Wells Fargo said it and other financial institutions license technology from Mitek Systems Inc., which filed its own lawsuit Nov. 1 against USAA in California. Mitek is seeking a court ruling that its technology didn’t infringe USAA patents, saying the lawsuit against Wells Fargo had “placed a cloud over Mitek’s products and services.”

Bloomberg News

Triad Business Bank hires Price for High Point market

A Triad banking veteran Leah Price has been hired as High Point market president for Triad Business Bank.

Price most recently worked for BB&T Corp. in the High Point market. She also worked for SunTrust Banks Inc. and Premier Commercial Bank in the market and has spent 35 years in the local banking industry.

A group of former NewBridge Bancorp executives announced in April their attempt at launching a startup business-oriented financial institution.

Bank officials are in the process of acquiring necessary state and federal regulatory approvals to begin operations. They have settled on a headquarters at 1501 Highwoods Blvd. in Greensboro and expect to open there in March.

The bank is requesting permission from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to open a branch at 751 W. Fourth St. in the western part of downtown Winston-Salem.

The bank’s focus will be on serving small- to medium-sized businesses. The lead executives would be Ramsey Hamadi, New Bridge’s former chief financial officer, along with Robin Hager, who served as chief accounting officer and Wes Budd, who served as chief credit officer.

Richard Craver

Sara Lee bakery plans Tarboro expansion, adding 108 jobs

Sara Lee Frozen Bakery said Monday it will create 108 jobs and spend $19.8 million on capital investments on expanding its Tarboro factory.

Sara Lee Frozen Bakery was formed in 2018 as part of a divestiture from Tyson Foods. The company, based in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., has bakeries in Michigan, Massachusetts and North Carolina.

The Tarboro bakery has more than 650 employees. It makes croissants, biscuits, pound cake, muffins, brownies, cheesecake and other bakery and dessert products.

The average salary for the new jobs will be $40,266, By comparison, the average annual salary in Edgecombe County is $34,401.

The company has been made eligible for up to $500,000 in performance-based incentives from the One North Carolina Fund, which requires matching local incentives.

Richard Craver

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