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MUFG's 47% earnings jump in 2020 shows banks can thrive amid COVID

Japan lender sees 9% profit growth this year, as megabanks turn to digitalization

As interest rates remain low, Japan's megabanks are working to improve their earnings structure through digitization. (Source photos by Masayuki Terasawa, Kei Higuchi and AP)

TOKYO -- Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group on Monday reported a 47% surge in net profit to 777 billion yen ($7.1 billion) for the year ended March, showing that banks that are able to transform quickly to adapt to the new digital economy can prosper even during the COVID crisis.

Japan's largest bank not only digitizing its own operations to reduce costs, but also partnering with other industries, such as mobile carrier NTT Docomo and ride hail service Grab, to offer services beyond traditional banking. Significantly, CEO Hironori Kamezawa called his bank "a financial digital platformer."

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