Wal-Mart’s slogan is “Save Money. Live Better.” Just don’t do your banking there. Check-out this WSJ analysis:
On a rainy morning in April, Anna Proctor entered a Wal-Mart Supercenter near some of this city’s poorest areas to get $300 for urgent car repairs—money she didn’t have.
Inside, she joined a line at a Woodforest National Bank branch and intentionally overdrew her account. When her paycheck was deposited 12 days later, she said, the bank would take the borrowed sum plus a $30 fee.
“It’s cheaper than a payday loan,” said Ms. Proctor, a 35-year-old customer-service worker. If her overdraft and fee were calculated as a loan, the annual percentage-rate interest, or APR, would be over 300%. She said she overdraws “all the time.”
Wal-Mart Stores Inc is known as a low-cost retailer, but customers of some of the independent banks inside its outlets are among America’s highest payers of bank fees—a large chunk of which come from overdraft charges.
A Wall Street Journal analysis of federal filings found that the five banks with the most Wal-Mart branches, including Woodforest, ranked among the top 10 U.S. banks in fee income as a percentage of deposits in 2013. Other banks among the top 10 serve the U.S. military, as the Journal reported in a January page-one article.