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Wal-Mart Wins Approval to Run Banking Centers in Mexico

Will open 10 and 15 new banking centers

Wal-Mart de Mexico is planning to open between 10 and 15 new banking centers in the country, said Wilfred Castro, a spokesman for Wal-Mart de Mexico

Branches of Banco Wal-Mart de Mexico Adelante will be located in existing Wal-Mart stores and retail outlets. "With Banco Wal-Mart we will be able to complement the services we provide to the segment of the population that currently lacks the benefits of having accessible banking services," the president and chief executive of Wal-Mart's Mexican operations, Eduardo Solorzano, said. Banco Wal-Mart plans to open its first branches in early November.

Wal-Mart's expansion into banking services in Mexico is likely to be watched closely by the banking industry and retail rivals. Wal-Mart withdrew a plan to open banking centers in the U.S. following stiff opposition from the U.S .banking industry and activist groups.

Tesco and Sainsbury's, two large British retailers, run banking and finance operations in their British stores, but banks have lobbied hard to guard their turf in the U.S.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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