Magna Group Inc. said that by the first quarter of 1998 it will open three in-store branches at three Wal-Mart SuperCenters in Illinois.

The Wal-Mart stores, still under construction, are in Bloomington, East Peoria, and Waterloo. In addition, a convenience bank center will be built at a Mobil Mart gas station in Maryland Heights, Mo., a community outside St. Louis.

The $6.8 billion-asset bank currently has seven in-store branches in Illinois-based Schnuckf Supermarkets; one in a Carbondale, Ill. Wal-Mart; one bank center in a St. Peters, Mo., Mobil Mart; and eight branches in retirement homes.

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