Aomori Bank, Michinoku Bank to Study Full-Scale Tie-Up

Economy

Tokyo, Oct. 28 (Jiji Press)--Aomori Bank <8342> and Michinoku Bank <8350>, both operating mainly in Aomori Prefecture, northeastern Japan, said Monday that they have agreed to start discussions on forming a comprehensive business partnership.

Facing a tough business environment amid the declining local population and ultralow interest rates in the country, the two regional lenders hope to streamline their operations and boost earnings through the envisioned extensive alliance.

Among other regional banks, Chiba Bank <8331> and Bank of Yokohama, a unit of Concordia Financial Group Ltd. <7186>, have tied up, and Fukui Bank <8362> and Fukuho Bank have also formed an alliance. Shimane Bank <7150> has decided to accept investment from online financial services firm SBI Holdings Inc. <8473>.

Similar moves are expected among other regional banks, industry sources said.

Aomori Bank and Michinoku Bank have so far worked on various cooperative projects, including sharing some automated teller machines, and they now see the need to strengthen their collaboration in order to survive in the difficult business climate.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press