Among US' Most Rabid Fee Collectors: Walmart Banks
Top 5 in-store branches among top 10 nationwide
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted May 12, 2014 11:16 AM CDT
In this May 28, 2013, file photo, an outdoors sign for Walmart is seen in Duarte, Calif.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

(Newser) – Walmart's famously low prices don't extend to the banks that operate inside of it. The five banks that have the most branches within Walmart stores are among the most aggressive fee collectors in the nation, the Wall Street Journal reports. Its analysis revealed that all five were among the top 10 in fees collected as a percentage of deposits. Of the 6,766 banks the Journal examined, only 15 earned more money from fees than from lending—including all five Walmart banks.

Most of those fees are from overdrafts, which some customers are using essentially as high-interest "payday loans." The CEO of Woodforest—the most common Walmart bank—says the company has lowered overdraft fees twice recently, but adds, "I still think they're too high." Walmart tried to get its own banking charter in 2007, but when that failed it began leasing space to other banks. A spokesperson says the company has a "very thorough process" to ensure banks are "in line with Walmart's philosophy of saving customers money." Walmart has also been offering more financial services of its own; last month it rolled out a money transferring service, Forbes reports.

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Showing 3 of 14 comments
May 12, 2014 9:02 PM CDT
Well if anyone has seen the news, Walmart seems like they are getting in every business, and obviously they are capitalizing on their brand to charge higher margins (more of a ripoff) on their other products. Did anyone else see the articles about how they are selling car insurance? What? Their car insurance IS NOT cheaper than you can get other places online. I have also heard that they are are thinking about selling life insurance. Somehow I doubt that they are going to offer cheaper policies than my $16 a month LifeAnt for $400K. Buy your toasters, microwaves, and even groceries at Walmart, but don't get fooled into making it a one stop shop for everything. We don't need Walmart being the only company to shop at.
May 12, 2014 4:17 PM CDT
Just say no to bill collectors.
May 12, 2014 2:51 PM CDT
Simple solution, use the ATM's for your own bank and pay less, or opt for convenience and pay more. Like anything in life you have a choice. If you are getting ripped off at Walmart that's your issue.