Wal-Mart Withdraws Its ILC Charter Application

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Friday that it has withdrawn its application for an industrial loan company charter, citing "manufactured controversy."
The company has applied for charter in July 2005 and although numerous large corporations have such charters, including competitor Target Corp., Wal-Mart's application created a great deal of criticism, despite its pledge to only use it to save the company money on credit and debit card transaction costs.
In a company news release, Jane Thompson, financial services president for Wal-Mart, said, "This action follows January's FDIC decision to extend the moratorium on a number of pending ILC applications.
"Unlike dozens of prior ILC applications, Wal-Mart's has been surrounded by manufactured controversy since it was submitted nearly two years ago. At no stage did we intend to use the ILC to establish branch banking operations as critics have suggested -- we simply sought to reduce credit and debit card transaction costs.
"Wal-Mart's financial services already save customers over $245 million a year so they can live better. Since the approval process is now likely to take years rather than months, we decided to withdraw our application to better focus on other ways to serve customers. We fully intend to continue to introduce new products and services that champion those who deserve convenient, lower priced financial services," Thompson said.

More on the Wal-Mart ILC
Utah Laws Limit Potential for Wal-Mart Bank [Arkansasbusiness.com]
Wal-Mart Argues for Industrial Bank at FDIC Hearing [Arkansasbusiness.com]
House Bill Would Close Wal-Mart Bank Loophole [Arkansasbusiness.com]

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