More woes for Wells Fargo

by Ryan Smith11 Jun 2018

Wells Fargo just can’t seem to get its house in order lately. Always mired in controversy, the banking giant now finds itself facing yet another federal lawsuit.

Insurance giant USAA is suing the bank for patent infringement, according to a Yahoo Finance report. The lawsuit claims that Wells Fargo is violating four of USAA’s mobile remote deposit capture patents. The technology allows users to deposit checks using their mobile devices.

According to the lawsuit, USAA had asked Wells Fargo to negotiate a licensing deal to use the technology. Wells Fargo allegedly ignored USAA’s requests and continued to use the technology without a license. The insurer, which holds about 50 patents associated with the mobile deposit of checks, finally filed suit against the banking giant.

“Wells Fargo is one of the biggest adopters of remote deposit capture,” Nathan McKinley, USAA’s head of corporate development, told Yahoo Finance. “We believe they are leveraging the technology to improve their bottom line, and they failed to take a license.”

USAA introduced the mobile technology in 2009 in order to help military families whose lifestyles made physically visiting a bank difficult, McKinley said.

“We believe the industry has been able to save billions using our mobile check deposit technology,” McKinley said. “We also believe the industry is aware USAA developed it.”

The latest lawsuit is only the most recent black eye for Wells Fargo, which has been at the center of a parade of scandals since 2016, when it was revealed that the bank had opened millions of customer accounts without authorization.

Since then, the banking giant has come under the microscope for allegedly retaliating against whistleblowers, charging mortgage clients improper fees, and charging auto-loan customers for unnecessary car insurance. It has also been repeatedly sued for allegedly discriminating against minority mortgage customers. Last month, it was revealed that employees in the bank’s wholesale unit were altering internal records about corporate clients without those clients’ knowledge.


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