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Walmart’s entry into lending

General Angela Calla 16 Jun

Wal-Mart Canada issues rewards-based MasterCard

First of several financial services products Barbara Shecter, Financial Post · Tuesday, Jun. 15, 2010

Freshly-minted Walmart Canada Bank kicked off its foray into financial services with a rewards MasterCard credit card on Tuesday, but the low-price retailing giant is not ruling out bringing serious competition to the country’s handful of big banks through products and services such as loans and mortgages.

“Walmart will always look to save customers more so they can live better. That’s our mission,” said Trudy Fahie, chief executive of Walmart Bank Canada. “The bank offering will be no different than our retail offering.”

This month, Walmart won final approval from Canada’s banking regulator to open a full financial services business in Canada, something the successful retailer failed to accomplish in the United States amid fierce industry backlash.

In Canada, consumer groups have pushed for more competition in the banking sector, arguing that services charges and other costs are higher because the landscape is dominated by the country’s six big banks.
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