A short-lived legal dispute in Virginia is serving as a reminder that expansion-minded banks must watch for branding challenges when they enter new markets.

HomeTown Bankshares in Roanoke, Va., and HomeTrust Bancshares in Asheville, N.C., resorted to litigation this summer as part of a branding battle. HomeTown filed a lawsuit, claiming that the similarly sounding names had confused customers. HomeTrust, in return, wanted a court to affirm its naming rights.

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