Wal-Mart Should Not Be Barred from the Banking Business
By David Holcberg (Toronto Star, April 13, 2006)
No one has a right to prevent Wal-Mart from opening a bank. Wal-Mart runs its business and earns its profits by the voluntary decisions of its customers to shop there. A Wal-Mart bank would operate in the same legitimate way. No one would be forced to buy their products or use their banking services.
That Wal-Mart might emerge as a formidable rival to established banks and possibly take away some of their business would be consistent with a free capitalist economy. It might actually bring to banking the same cost-cutting strategy that made Wal-Mart prevail over less-efficient competitors and become the preferred retail outlet of millions of American consumers.
Neither Wal-Mart's competitors, nor consumer groups, nor the government have any right to have a say in what line of business Wal-Mart can or cannot go into. Wal-Mart's rights are not up for a vote.