The Federation of Bankers Associations of Japan officially changed its name Tuesday to the Japanese Bankers Association and decided to include 22 foreign bankers in its membership.

Citibank and Chase Manhattan Bank were allowed in as voting members. Twenty other foreign banks, including Barclays Bank, State Street Bank & Trust Co. and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, joined as nonvoting members.

Bank of America, National Westminster Bank and National Australia Bank were also among the new nonvoting members.

The banking industry group changed its name and rules so individual banks can belong to the group directly, not solely through regional bankers associations as in the past.

This organizational reform was in response to criticism that the powerful industry group lacked transparency in its operations.

Katsuyuki Sugita, who officially assumed the association’s chairmanship Tuesday, said his group, with 248 members nationwide, will improve its transparency and efficiency by strengthening its secretariat and reducing the number of its subcommittees.

Sugita, concurrently president of Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank, said the industry group will continue to express its views on the state-run postal savings program, which it has slammed as not “on an equal footing” with the private financial institutions.

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