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Japan's online banks go bricks-and-mortar to boost loan ops

Physical branches reassure borrowers, bolster chances for sales

SBI Sumishin Net Bank's office in Tokyo has processed 190 home loans in its first month and a half.

TOKYO -- Japan's online banks are venturing into the real world in search of new customers as the advantages the institutions offer on loan and savings rates dwindle, eroded by market saturation and painfully low interest rates.

'Blurring the line'

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