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The partnership between Wal-Mart Stores and credit unions is continuing to grow, even as community banks are seeing the retail giant's banking plans as a direct challenge. While community bankers said during FDIC hearing last week that they don't believe Wal-Mart will not open in-store branches. At the same time, dozens of credit unions are expanding their Wal-Mart branching plans. Among them are Tropical Financial CU and Dade County FCU in south Florida, and Centra CU in Columbus, Ind., which plans to open three new Wal-Mart branches. It is believed that up to 50 credit unions may have branches underway inside Wal-Mart stores.

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