Tokio Marine & Fire Insurance Co. is planning a joint discount brokerage with Charles Schwab and Co., Tokio Marine officials said on Wednesday.

U.S.-based Charles Schwab is the largest discount broker in the U.S. and holds the biggest share of the market for Internet securities. Tokio Marine is Japan’s largest nonlife insurer.

The joint firm would sell stocks and other securities at a discount to individuals via telephone or the Internet, according to the officials, who added that such a move would make Tokio Marine the nation’s first nonlife insurer to enter the brokerage business.

Capital for the joint firms would probably be provided by Charles Schwab, Tokio Marine and institutions affiliated with the Mitsubishi conglomerate. This includes Meiji Life Insurance Co., Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, and Mitsubishi Trust & Banking Corp.

The timing of the venture has not been decided, but Tokio Marine officials hope the new venture can start next summer.

Charles Schwab operates in the U.S. by offering investors lower commission fees unburdened by the cost of running a network of retail branches, but it is unclear if the same technique will be used in Japan.

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