Thomas M. Stevens, president for the National Association of Realtors trade group, testified this week in opposition to an application by mega-retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to form Wal-Mart Bank. Stevens stated, "When commercial firms are allowed to engage in banking, the bank functions under an inherent conflict of interest. We cannot afford to open the door to actions that threaten the safety and soundness of the banking system." Approval of this application by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. "would establish a dangerous precedent that would inevitably lead to an erosion of the national policy against mixing banking and commerce," according to an association announcement Tuesday. In written testimony to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Stevens stated that the application for Wal-Mart Bank "marks the latest chapter in Wal-Mart's continuing effort to gain a foothold entry into the banking industry." He added, "Wal-Mart has publicly stated that the company's sole motivation is ...
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