business news in context, analysis with attitude

Reuters reports that Wal-Mart de Mexico “plans to relaunch its Mexican bank in coming months,” and “plans to offer savings accounts and credit cards to the 3 million customers who visit its stores every day, two-thirds of whom currently have no relationship with any bank.”

Walmart plans to use the almost 20,000 checkout personnel in its stores to take deposits and offer savings accounts and credit cards.

Walmart has been stymied in its efforts to buy a bank in the US, though it is offering financial services such as bill payment to its shoppers that have allowed it to get its toes into US banking waters.

• In California, the Press Democrat reports that “Wal-Mart will settle the lawsuit brought by 116,000 California workers who won a landmark $172 million judgment against the company in 2005 for illegally denying them meal breaks.” According to the story, the retailer has agreed “to pay between $77 million and $152 million, depending on the number of current and former workers who step forward.”

The paper also notes that Sonoma County attorney Fred Furth, who filed the initial suit in 2001, is looking to get more than $50 million of the settlement in attorney’s fees, which will leave each employee with between a minimum of $75 and a maximum of $950, “depending on the number of violations.”
KC's View:
Sure, attorneys have to get paid…but $50 million over nine years? Yikes!