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Japan's top banks suffer 1st combined income drop in three years

Lower profitability hits bottom lines at Mitsubishi UFJ, Sumitomo and Mizuho

Squeezed by thin interest rate spreads, Japan's megabanks plan to cut more costs and expand their use of information technology.

TOKYO -- The combined consolidated net profit at Japan's top-three banking groups has likely decreased by about 10% to slightly above 1.3 trillion yen ($11.9 billion) for the fiscal first half through September, the first such year on year decline in three years.

During the period, lending by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group and Mizuho Financial Group remained solid, but the megabanks reeled from narrow net interest rate spreads amid Japan's ultra low interest rate environment.

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