Mortgage lender opens at Walmart

Walmart Inc. leases space in three stores from a mortgage lender, adding home loans to the list of financial services offered to Walmart customers.

Lenders One Cooperative, a national alliance of more than 240 independent mortgage bankers, said in a press release that it plans to expand to more Walmart locations.

A Walmart spokesperson said it referred all questions to Lenders One.

The lending group announced its “Walmart in-store opportunity” at its annual summit on Monday, saying it wanted to offer mortgage services to the many customers who visit Walmart stores.

Lenders One said its members can benefit from operating “store-in-store” branches, where they can help customers with home loans, refinances and home equity lines of credit.

Members of the group collectively originated about $780 billion in mortgages in 2020, Lenders One said, ranking it the largest retail mortgage entity in the United States.

Walmart has rented space inside its stores to other companies for years. It has also expanded its financial services such as its bill payment and account loading networks.

—Serena McKay

Facebook Pay (US) hit by state order

State Securities Commissioner Eric Munson has ordered Facebook Pay (USA) Limited to stop trading money with the Arkansans until it is properly registered in the state.

The order revealed that Facebook Pay (USA) Limited had posed as a legitimate licensee of Arkansas Money Transmitter, Facebook Payments Inc.

In doing so, Facebook Pay (USA) Limited defrauded an Arkansan by acting as a buyer when she attempted to sell her phone on Facebook Marketplace.

Munson urged the Arkansans to contact the department if they believe they have been defrauded.

“We are seeing more and more scammers posing as common entities that we know and interact with on a daily basis,” Munson said in a statement Friday. “It’s important to remember that the Arkansas Department of Securities has many tools to help Arkansans with many money and securities-related questions.”

—André Moreau

Arkansas index drops 8.17 and ends at 757.09

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest state-based public companies, closed Friday at 757.09, down 8.17.

“We’re in a headline-driven market, and headline-driven markets happen during times of uncertainty,” said Keith Lerner, co-chief investment officer and chief market strategist at Truist Advisory Services, at Bloomberg News.

Shares of Simmons First National Corp. rose 2% on Friday while shares of Bank OZK rose 1.6%.

USA Truck shares fell 3.2%.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of December 30, 1997.