New Century Financial Corp. said late Friday that U.S. Bancorp has stepped up its investment in the subprime lender by buying $20 million of New Century's subordinated debt.

The Minneapolis banking company owns roughly 23% of the Southern California subprime mortgage specialist. It has said the alliance helps the companies cross-sell their financial products.

Some of the proceeds will be used to develop electronic commerce capabilities, New Century said. -- Olaf de Senerpont Domis

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