Amendment to Bar Wal-Mart From Banking Withdrawn For Now

Amendment to Bar Wal-Mart From Banking Withdrawn For Now

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- The sponsor of a measure in Congress that would bar Wal-Mart from engaging in banking has withdrawn it for now.

That is in exchange for a pledge that the issue will be dealt with next year.

The proposal by Representative Jim Leach of Iowa would put industrial-loan corporations into the same federally regulated classification as banks.

Currently, industrial-loan corporations are regulated only by state authorities, and a federal law barring commercial firms from owning banks does not apply to them.

Wal-Mart has attempted to purchase an industrial-loan corporation for several years, and has applied to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to form such a company in Utah.

Wal-Mart has said it does not plan to go into retail banking, but instead wants to avoid paying third-party banks fees that are charged for debit- and credit-card transactions.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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