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ICBA Statement on Wal-Mart Lease Testimony

Washington, D.C. (May 10, 2006)—Camden R. Fine, president and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), issued the following statement following media reports that Wal-Mart presented inaccurate information to the FDIC regarding leases it has with local banks during hearings on the giant retailer's application for federal deposit insurance.

“If Wal-Mart wants to own an FDIC insured bank, then it must prove that its word can be trusted and that it is capable of upholding the high standards set by the FDIC that all other banks must follow. Whether Wal-Mart's understanding of the provisions in its own leases is an oversight or not, is irrelevant. If Wal-Mart's management isn't capable of being accurate in its statements to the FDIC, it shouldn't be allowed to run a bank. Does the FDIC really want to place millions of depositors and ultimately all taxpayers at risk over future “inaccurate” statements?

“When a bank isn't accurate or truthful with a bank examiner, it is subject to sanctions or worse. If Wal-Mart was less than forthright in this part of their testimony, can we fully trust that they were accurate in the rest of their testimony? Credibility and honesty are the two most important assets bankers must possess. Wal-Mart has already failed on both counts and should not be granted federal deposit insurance.”