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Wal-Mart Made ?Wise Choice? to Withdrawal Bank Application: NAR President

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RISMEDIA, March 19, 2007-Pat Vredevoogd Combs, president of the National Association of Realtors(R), today released the following statement to its members on Wal-Mart's decision to withdraw its application to open an industrial loan company (ILC):

"As FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair stated earlier today, 'Wal-Mart made a wise choice' in withdrawing its application to the FDIC to open an ILC. This is a major victory for our country and our financial security."

"As NAR has written, testified and continued to discuss, mixing banking and commerce puts our national economy at risk. When commercial firms are allowed to engage in banking, the bank functions under an inherent conflict of interest. This conflict imposes unnecessary risks to the financial system of the bank, the parent corporation, and the national economy."

"We thank House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Rep. Paul Gillmor (R-Ohio) for their relentless pursuit of this important issue. We also acknowledge the decision made by FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair and the FDIC Board to extend the current moratorium on ILC applications from commercial firms giving Congress the time to examine the ILC issue. NAR believes it is time to close the ILC loophole by enacting H.R. 698, the Industrial Bank Holding Company Act of 2007. We look forward to working with all interested parties in ensuring that banking and commerce remain separate and that the ILC loophole is permanently closed."

The National Association of Realtors(R), "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing more than 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Information about NAR is available at http://www.realtor.org/.

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