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Wal-Mart pulls industrial loan company application          Send a link to a friend

Bankers favor proposed legislative measure that maintains separation of banking and commerce

[March 19, 2007]  WASHINGTON -- The Independent Community Bankers of America cheered Wal-Mart's decision to withdraw its application for federal deposit insurance for a Utah-based industrial loan company, known as an ILC.

"America's consumers and America's communities are the true winners," said James P. Ghiglieri Jr., chairman of the Independent Community Bankers of America and president of Alpha Community Bank, Toluca, Ill. "ICBA has fought long and hard to preserve the economic diversity necessary to sustain vibrant and dynamic communities and to protect the safety and soundness of America's deposits."

"A Wal-Mart bank -- owned by the world's largest commercial retailer -- is the poster child for what could go wrong and would pose significant risk to the safety and soundness of the Deposit Insurance Fund and to the stability of our financial and economic system by breaching the long-standing wall between banking and commerce," said Camden R. Fine, president and chief executive officer of Independent Community Bankers of America. "Congress now needs to act quickly to address other pending commercial ILC applications and possible future applications by closing the ILC loophole and passing the Frank-Gillmor legislation."

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Despite Wal-Mart's decision to withdraw its industrial loan company application, the Independent Community Bankers of America will continue to fight to close the loophole and work diligently with Congress to pass the Industrial Bank Holding Company Act, House Resolution 698, introduced by Reps. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and Paul Gillmor, R-Ohio, and co-sponsored by 81 members of Congress. The measure would close the industrial loan company loophole in the Bank Holding Company Act and prohibit Wal-Mart, Home Depot and other nonfinancial companies from using an industrial loan company charter to skirt the law preventing commercial firms from owning FDIC-insured financial institutions.

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About ICBA

The Independent Community Bankers of America, the nation's voice for community banks, represents the largest constituency of community banks of all sizes and charter types in the nation and is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry.

[Text from news release received from the Independent Community Bankers of America]

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