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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ICBA Statement on FDIC’s Decision to Hold Hearings on Wal-Mart Bank Application

Washington, D.C. (February 23, 2006)— Camden R. Fine, president and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America released the following statement regarding the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s announcement that it will hold four days of hearings on the application for deposit insurance by the proposed Wal-Mart Bank:

“ICBA applauds the FDIC for its decision to hold hearings to gather public input on the issues of national importance presented by Wal-Mart’s application for a federally insured Utah industrial loan company.

Allowing the world's largest commercial enterprise to breach the wall separating banking and commerce presents major public policy issues that should be thoroughly debated by regulators and lawmakers before any decision is made to allow Wal-Mart to enter banking. 

ICBA looks forward to participating in the hearings.”