Wal-Mart Offers a Detailed Defense
Kaper, Stacy, American Banker
WASHINGTON -- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has released a detailed response to opponents of its plan for an industrial loan company in Utah.
In a 14-page supplement to testimony last month to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the president of Wal-Mart Financial Services argued that the ILC would neither threaten community banks or the nation's payment system or constitute an illegal mixing of banking and commerce.
"It would be unfair and singularly inappropriate," Jane Thompson wrote, "for the board of the FDIC to give weight to the view expressed in the FDIC's hearings and elsewhere that our application should be denied because it 'violates' the 'historic' separation of banking and commerce."
The supplement is dated May 5 and was posted May 12 on the FDIC's Web site.
Ms. Thompson noted that banks are generally prohibited from engaging in commercial activities, but she also wrote that several commercial entities have crossed the line without being shut down.
The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 was supposed to prevent commercial companies from owning unitary thrifts, she wrote. "Nevertheless, General Motors, Ford, Sears, General Electric, our direct competitor Target, Nordstrom, the holding company for Revlon, American Express, BMW, Toyota and others have all owned insured depositories," she wrote. …