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Should Regulators Permit a Wal-Mart Bank?
May 8, 2013

The Dodd-Frank Act's ban on pure commercial ownership of industrial loan companies is set to expire in July. American Banker editors discuss the pros and cons of allowing a commercial enterprise like Wal-Mart into the banking business at a time when the previous argument against doing so has been turned on its head.

Related article: War Over Retailer Banks Could Reignite, With or Without Walmart

Comments (2)
Being that we still have a significant problem facing this country in form of Too Big To Fail, the notion that we would even consider a scenario that would encourage the creation of a super-mega bank is ludicrous. Rob has it exactly right in the video debate, that we need to address TBTF before we do anything else and the risk this would pose to the nations community bank sector is significant.

Allowing a commercial business that has no banking expertise to become the largest branch networked bank in the nation, overnight is an insane proposition that is fraught with more risk that is possible to comprehend.

Wal-Mart has disenfranchised rural America enough. Adding a bank to their business model would be terrible for the economy and would leave consumers paying more and having less choice.

Posted by grsb | Thursday, May 09 2013 at 12:29PM ET
The best argument for senior management at Walmart to stay out of banking is that the last thing they'd want is to jump into one of the most overly, yet poorly, regulated industries imaginable. They'd be called up to DC anytime a politician wanted to impress his or her true constituents - the unions.

That said, an argument that the most successful retailer in the history of mankind would lack "banking expertise" for more than 10 seconds is insane. They would get whomever they want to run the operation.

In the end, it probably won't happen, but the knee jerk Walmart bashing and outright misrepresentations of their record is tiresome. Walmart has done more to make products affordable to low and middle income folks - and, yes, thereby raising their standards of living - than any retailer... ever.

Yeah, why would you want that kind of horrible company in the banking industry?

Posted by My 2 Cents | Thursday, May 09 2013 at 4:17PM ET
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