When Will We See the “First Bank of Walmart?”

Federal regulators and the U.S. banking industry have blocked several attempts by Walmart to offer banking services at its 8,500 retail stores nationwide. But Walmart (WMT) hasn’t given up yet:

Wal-Mart hopes to ultimately create a branded bank, much to the vehement opposition of the U.S. banking industry. The company has been twice denied takeovers of banks, but it has expanded its financial services drastically and silently through partnerships with Discover, GE Consumer Finance, MoneyGram International and SunTrust Banks, which entitles its customers to discounted money transfers and check cashing services. If the company ever becomes a bank, its footprint would be massive, with an instant 8,500 stores becoming bank branches worldwide. The prospect of Wal-Mart becoming a bank that utilizes the same low margin but high volume approach to financial services horrifies many national banks, which would suffer the same fate as the small general stores Wal-Mart put out of business years ago when they cropped up all over the interstate highways.”

In contrast to its experience in the U.S., Walmart entered the retail banking industry in Mexico in 2007, and here’s an update of what has happened there:

“After four years of operations, Banco Walmart opened its 1 millionth account on March 15, in one of its Mexico City branches. The account holder was rewarded with a $10,000 pesos deposit in their Banco Walmart savings account.

“Banco Walmart contributes towards improving the quality of life for families in Mexico, providing them with basic banking services at a low cost. In less than one year, we have given back more than $14.8 million pesos, in cash, to our customers using Banco Walmart cards in Walmart stores. We plan to open 62 new branches in 2011 (an increase of 24% over 2010) in order to bring this kind of service to more Mexicans nationwide. It is estimated that 70% of the population does not have access to bank services,” said Raúl Argüelles, senior vice president corporate affairs Walmart de México y Centroamérica.

“Since opening in 2007, Banco Walmart has generated more than 1,800 jobs throughout the country; it has received $1.34 billion pesos in deposits; it has granted $965 million pesos in credit through its Super Crédito credit card; and has supported $710 million in supplier development with more than 150 credit lines through the Credimpulsa program,” added Argúelles.”

MP: Maybe that’s just the type of reform that could help the U.S. banking system become safer, sounder and more efficient: some good ole competition from retail giant Walmart.

About Mark J. Perry 262 Articles

Affiliation: University of Michigan

Dr. Mark J. Perry is a professor of economics and finance in the School of Management at the Flint campus of the University of Michigan.

He holds two graduate degrees in economics (M.A. and Ph.D.) from George Mason University in Washington, D.C. and an MBA degree in finance from the Curtis L. Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Since 1997, Professor Perry has been a member of the Board of Scholars for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a nonpartisan research and public policy institute in Michigan.

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2 Comments on When Will We See the “First Bank of Walmart?”

  1. Only 5 nations in the world left without a Rothschild controlled central bank: Iran; North Korea; Sudan; Cuba; and Libya…..

    Where do you think the next war will take place…..oops!

    Only 4 nations left…

    and you think Wal*Mart needs a bank…..duh!

    “It is the aim of good government to stimulate production, of bad government to encourage consumption.” – Jean Baptiste Say

    If Retail makes NOTHING….and Government makes only MORE DEBT….the only thing that can have a positive effect on communities is Small Business and companies that make stuff.

    The picture of George Washington can float around a town six to eight times before leaving the community but if that dollar is spent inside of a big box store it will leave the same day that it entered.

    Big Box stores like Wal*Mart can take in 200,000 George Washington’s a day and that be a lot of “Liberty” “Pride” “Freedom” leaving town each day.

    And when one figures into the equation America has a six to one trade deficit with China which means five out of every six George Washington’s that go there will never come back unless the US Government sells bonds(debt) this is what those on Jenkins Hill and Wall Street don’t understand when it comes to local banks not having any George Washington’s to loan out in their communities.

    Why is it that people ain’t writing articles about those fifteen cargo ships that pollute as much as 760 million automobiles, T Boone Pickens owning a Texas Water District, Nestle draining the Great Lakes, the disconnect between Coca-Cola and the people of India, Wal*Mart putting less than 5% foreign in their stores in China and Warren Buffett buying a Choo Choo train a few years after Wal*Mart makes a deal on a port in Mexico.

    In 1960 U.S. goods manufacturing produced a $5 billion trade surplus – – 2006 merchandise trade had a $836 billion deficit. Today, for some reason, the world thinks the American consumer needs to support what they make….well, it doesn’t work like that even a fifth grader can figure that out.

    So-call cheaper items only breed cheaper wages and this will go on until the rich of the world carry out the manufacturing of ignorance through out the 182 or so counties that will have a chance to make something.

    I’m just an O’fart with very little book learning but from what I’ve seen over the past sixty five years in this great union of fifty states has shown me that common sense left in the year 63′ and “my sh!! don’t stink” sense as been here every since.

    Sad, those few fat farmers with penmanship of poets holding feather quill goose pens and writing the American dream has today become nothing more than a page within a history book that a bunch of asinine dipsticks are to lazy and ignorant to teach.

    Over the past 100 years the Federal Debt has gone from $2.6 billion in 1910 to over $14 trillion today….In that time there has only been one 10 year period that the debt has gone down 1920-1930.

    All done by a bunch of elephants and jack@sses acting like turnips. People today still think Clinton balance the budget but anyone knows if they think with an open mind that if the budgets of the Clinton years had been balance the debt would had not gone up.

    America is over $57 trillion in debt and it didn’t get there by people using common sense. If the American people don’t wake-up to that fact within another twenty years they will witness Lady Liberty kneeling to her knees in the Hudson and someone in Tiananmen Square holding that tablet from under her left arm celebrating what is written upon it.

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