Osaka-area bank merger will 'vastly improve convenience': Resona chief
Tie-up with Sumitomo Mitsui to create similar services across regional network
TOKYO -- A planned merger of three Japanese regional banks under Resona Holdings and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group will "vastly improve convenience for customers," Resona President Kazuhiro Higashi told The Nikkei.
The banks plan to offer similar services across the consolidated network, which will grow to about 380 locations.
Resona's Kinki Osaka Bank, as well as Sumitomo Mitsui's Kansai Urban Banking and Minato Bank, will move under a holding company established by the parent companies. Resona will own a majority stake in the holding company, while Sumitomo Mitsui will put up around 20%.
Kinki Osaka and Kansai Urban are based in Osaka, while Minato is headquartered in Kobe.
By consolidating IT and administrative functions and providing similar services, the merger will give customers "more options for branches to go to," said Higashi.
Although the banks "all deal with small and midsize businesses and individuals, there isn't that much customer overlap," says Higashi. The Resona side will gain consumer finance know-how while providing access to its trust services, he said.
"Because each of us has a different orientation, we were able to achieve this regional bank consolidation," said Higashi, referring to how Resona focuses on the domestic market, while Sumitomo Mitsui is looking to expand overseas. Higashi gave no indication that parent companies intend to strengthen their own ties.