Yamagata Bank announced Friday it has reached an agreement with five other regional banks to launch a study on the possible integration of their computer systems.

The five other banks participating the study are: Hachijuni Bank based in Nagano; Tokushima-based Awa Bank; Shinwa Bank, based in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture; Miyazaki Bank in Miyazaki; and Bank of the Ryukyus in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture.

The Yamagata-based regional bank said that a basic scheme for the integration will be worked out by the end of March.

The six banks have so far agreed to set up regular meetings of their presidents to work out further details.

The six also plan to call on other regional banks to join the project.

Joyo Bank, a regional bank based in Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture, which is planning to integrate its computer system with that of Hachijuni Bank, will likely participate, informed sources said.

The move aims to reduce the respective banks’ financial burdens in the face of ballooning investment for developing new computer systems, enabling them to catch up with changing needs arising from the “Big Bang” liberalization of the financial industry.

The plan includes the integration of their existing core computer systems managing bank deposits and lendings, and joint development of new systems for investment trust businesses.

The banks decided to integrate their computer systems because all six use the same host computer made by IBM Japan Ltd.

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