BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores here has partnered with discount brokerage ShareBuilder Corp., Bellevue, Wash., as the retailer’s first expansion of its financial-services offerings since withdrawing its application for an industrial loan company charter in March, which would have allowed it to operate a banking entity. At the time, Wal-Mart spokesman Kevin Gardner told SN, “Our strategy is to develop more financial services products to complement what we’re already offering, such as check cashing, money transfers, bill payment and product care plans.” Wal-Mart introduced the stock trading service, titled Wal-Mart Easy Investing by ShareBuilder, early this month with a link on its website. It soon will begin promoting the service in its U.S. stores, too, according to a weekend report in the Wall Street Journal.
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