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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ICBA Statement on Wal-Mart’s Application for Utah ILC

Washington, D.C. (July 20, 2005) - Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) President and CEO Camden R. Fine issued the following statement regarding Wal-Mart's application this week to charter an industrial loan company (ILC) in Utah:

"ICBA has led the fight to close loopholes in the law to keep Wal-Mart and other commercial conglomerates out of the banking industry. Mixing banking and commerce is a dangerous combination that would produce an excessive concentration of economic power, jeopardize the impartial allocation of credit, and extend the Federal safety net where it was not intended. We will continue the fight in Congress to close remaining loopholes, such as the ILC loophole, to protect the integrity of our nation's financial system.

"We are aware of Wal-Mart's current "no-branching" pledge, but are concerned that over time their business plans will change and they will seek to engage in retail banking operations. We will be watching the situation in Utah carefully."