Credit unions act at their peril by ignoring Walmart's competitive threat, warned a newly issued Filene Research Institute report.

The fact is, said the report, the giant retailer acts like a "patient strategist" in its bid to offer a full range of financial services targeting CU core lines-auto loans, small business and demand deposits. CU management cannot be complacent about what lies ahead from Walmart.

The report's author, Robert Manning, is a former consumer finance professor at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York and head of the nonprofit Debt Relief Institute. He said Walmart's 2007 failure to gain a formal banking charter has become a moot issue.

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