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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Citizens Bank of Texas NA filed suit against Wells Fargo Bank Texas NA, Wells Fargo Bank Ohio NA and other related entities after a check-kiting scheme involving accounts with Citizens Bank and the Wells Fargo banks resulted in overdrafts at Citizens Bank totaling $8.15 million. In a bench trial, the trial court rendered judgment in favor of Citizens Bank. Wells Fargo appealed and Citizens Bank cross-appealed. HOLDING:Reversed and rendered. On appeal, Wells Fargo Texas contends that the trial court erred by holding it liable for failing to timely return certain unpaid checks because: 1. Wells Fargo Texas was not the payor bank for those checks as a matter of law; 2. Wells Fargo Texas and Wells Fargo Ohio were separate banks; and 3. Wells Fargo Texas and Wells Fargo Ohio were not a single business enterprise. Wells Fargo Texas contends that the court should not look beyond the four corners of the checks to determine the identity of the payor bank. Citizens Bank responds that the court should look beyond the face of the checks and consider the close relationship between Wells Fargo Texas and Wells Fargo Ohio. The court holds that the checks are facially unambiguous and that Wells Fargo Ohio is the payor bank and the paying bank under the applicable statutes. The court also holds that the Wells Fargo banks were separate and were not a single enterprise. Wells Fargo Texas next contends that the trial court erred by holding that it breached a duty of expeditious return and a duty of good faith owed to Citizens Bank because 1. Wells Fargo Texas is not the payor bank, and 2. Wells Fargo Texas had no contractual duty to expedite the collection of the checks. Wells Fargo Texas also contends that the trial court erred by imposing duties on Wells Fargo Texas more stringent than the requirements of the Uniform Commercial Code or 12 C.F.R. pt. 229 (Regulation CC). The court holds that, as a collecting bank, Wells Fargo Texas owed the duties provided by Texas Business and Commerce Code 4.202. The court concludes that the banks’ correspondent banking relationship standing alone did not create a fiduciary or confidential relationship and that Wells Fargo Texas complied with its legal duties under the U.C.C. (at least with respect to the first three batches of checks). The court notes that Citizens Bank does not contend that Wells Fargo Texas acted fraudulently or made a misrepresentation. Therefore, the court holds that Wells Fargo did not owe a heightened duty of care toward Citizens Bank with respect to the first three batches of checks. However, Wells Fargo Texas did fail to exercise ordinary care in forwarding the fourth batch of checks. Citizens Bank contends in its sole cross-issue that the evidence establishes as a matter of law that Wells Fargo Texas agreed to treat all Wells Fargo checks as being drawn on Wells Fargo Texas and that the trial court’s finding to the contrary is against the great weight and preponderance of the evidence. The court sustains Wells Fargo Texas’ issue that the trial court erred by imposing duties on Wells Fargo Texas more stringent than the requirements of the U.C.C. or Regulation CC, and overrules Citizens Bank’s sole cross-issue. The court holds that although Wells Fargo Texas did not timely forward one batch of checks to the Federal Reserve Bank, Citizens Bank suffered no damages as a result of this delay. Wells Fargo Texas and Wells Fargo Ohio otherwise timely processed the defendants’ checks. Accordingly, the court reverses the judgment and renders judgment that Citizens Bank take nothing. OPINION:Reyna, J.; Gray, C.J., Vance and Reyna, JJ.

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