May 10, 2006
The following can be attributed to Paul Blank, campaign director for WakeUpWalMart.com:
“”How many times is Wal-Mart going to mislead America? Whether the issue is Wal-Mart’s lack of affordable health care, gender discrimination, crime at its stores, child labor or shipping our jobs overseas, Wal-Mart consistently hides the truth and the American people pay the price.
Now, Wal-Mart has gone one step further. It appears Wal-Mart arrogantly lied to federal regulators, the national media and the American people on its banking application and thought it could get away with it. Wal-Mart’s inaccurate testimony raises serious questions about what else the company isn’t telling the FDIC. It is time for Wal-Mart to stop its pattern of deception, come clean with federal regulators, be honest with the American people and take responsibility for its actions.””
Wal-Mart testimony inaccurate on bank leases
WASHINGTON, May 9 (Reuters) – Wal-Mart gave inaccurate testimony to U.S. regulators considering its application to open a bank, wrongly describing a provision of some leases signed by banks in its stores, according to leases obtained by Reuters.
The inaccuracy involves testimony Wal-Mart Stores Inc. gave to support its statement that it has no plans to replace community banks now in its stores with bank branches of its own.
Last month, the company told the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the agency reviewing Wal-Mart’s application to start limited bank operations, that it has no plans to enter full-service banking, and it pointed to the leases signed by banks in its stores as evidence of its long-term plan to support independent banks.
Specifically, Wal-Mart told the FDIC that leases signed by banks were renewed at the discretion of the banks alone.
But documents seen by Reuters include a provision that requires both the bank and Wal-Mart to agree to renew.
According to industry sources, that provision is included in a handful, not all of the leases signed by Wal-Mart’s bank tenants. Wal-Mart told Reuters it was an oversight and that the testimony it gave to the FDIC it had believed to be true.