Massachusetts To Hold Hearings OnWal-Mart Check-Cashing Bid

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BOSTON - (05/12/06) – The state Division of Bankingannounced Wednesday it will hold public hearings on an applicationfrom retail giant Wal-Mart Stores to operate a check cashingservice in each of its 44 Massachusetts stores. The BayState’s public scrutiny comes as Wal-Mart is completing aheated series of public hearings over its application for a bankingcharter. During the hearings, the country’s biggest retailertold regulators and the public it has no plans to offer branchbanking at its stores. But critics countered by noting thatWal-Mart will offer online banking services, including CDs, andengage in other financial services, like check cashing, in directcompetition with many of the banks and credit unions that operatebranches in Wal-Mart stores. The Bay State regulator has scheduleda series of seven public hearings throughout the state next month,and will accept public comments on the Wal-Mart proposal until June28.

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