Wal-mart: Get Your Mortgages on Aisle Three

Speculation is rising again about Wal-mart’s banking plans. While the company has long insisted it has no interesting in retail banking [ed., who does?], apparently the retail giant’s lease agreements have become somewhat more specific about what it might one day do in consumer finance. Specifically, it now reserves the right to do all banking services, including the underwriting of mortgages.

Will Wal-mart do so? I have no idea, but I also have no problem with the Bank of Bentonville. Frankly, I don’t think it would be all that great a business for Wal-mart, although the company might legitimately see it as a loss-leader to drive razor blade and cigarette sales, which would be just fine by many bank-irritated Wal-mart patrons.

Attention Wal-mart shoppers, get your mortgages on Aisle 3!

[via NYT]


  1. I remember seeing the odd Wal-Mart up here in Toronto with kiosk-type branches (TD I think) in the past.
    PC Financial has seemed to have been pretty successful up here but I don’t know if it’s had a big impact on the other big banks (CIBC runs the banking side for PC).
    I wonder what impact a Wal-Mart bank would have south of the border though with the more regionally oriented banking system. A ‘no fee” approach at the bank of Wal-Mart could certainly shake things up – especially if they tag a loyalty program on to it as well.