SBI Close to Ties with 3 or 4 Regional Banks

Economy

Tokyo, Sept. 2 (Jiji Press)--SBI Holdings Inc. <8473> is very close to reaching a tie-up agreement with three or four regional banks newly joining its initiative to create Japan's "fourth megabank," President Yoshitaka Kitao said Wednesday.

The major Japanese online financial services firm also plans to create a smart city around Osaka and Hyogo prefectures in western Japan and develop it into a new international financial hub, Kitao said in a lecture at a financial conference hosted by Jiji Press.

At regional banks, "profits will fall in the short term because of negative interest rates, and in the medium term they won't be able to catch up to the trend of fintech," or financial services using information technology, he said.

He added that SBI will invest in up to 10 regional banks in total under the fourth megabank initiative and offer management support by providing human resources and systems.

SBI currently has capital alliances with four regional lenders including Shimane Bank <7150> and Fukushima Bank <8562>. SBI's partners are expected to increase to around 10 after September, Kitao said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press