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Sanwa Bank said Wednesday it plans to establish an Internet bank in July at the earliest, with an eye to launching deposit-taking and settlement operations by year’s end.

The Web bank would allow customers to pay for goods and services and buy mutual funds online. People with Web bank accounts would also be able to make demand and time deposits and take out loans at Sanwa Bank’s 4,000 automated teller machines, the bank said.

Web bank customers would be able to withdraw their savings from the machines, the bank said.

Sanwa Bank is seeking the consent of Tokai Bank — with which it will merge in April 2002 — Recruit Co., Hitachi Ltd. and JCB Co. to put up capital for the planned Web bank, Sanwa officials said.

Sanwa envisages capitalizing the Web bank at 15 billion yen and owning more than 55 percent of it, they said.

Member firms of the Financial One group led by Sanwa Bank are contemplating the possibility of selling their investment tools such as stocks via the Web bank, they said.

The Sanwa-led group includes Toyo Trust & Banking Co. and Tsubasa Securities Co.

Sanwa said it aims to have 1.5 million savings accounts with combined deposits of 1 trillion yen at the Web bank by the end of March 2005.

Sakura Bank has also divulged plans to set up a Web bank, called Japan Net Bank, by teaming up with Sumitomo Bank, Fujitsu Ltd. and Nippon Life Insurance Co., with an eye to starting operations by September.

Firms tie on trust bank

Daiwa Bank and Sumitomo Trust & Banking Co. announced that they have set up a new trust bank specializing in the administration of pension funds and other assets.

The new bank, called Japan Trustee Services Bank, is capitalized at 50 billion yen, with the two banks holding an equal stake in the venture, the two firms said Tuesday.

Yoshikazu Matsuda, currently managing director of Daiwa, assumed the presidency of the new trust bank.

The bank, scheduled to begin operating in October, will specialize in the administration of various assets including pension funds, investment trusts and “tokkin” specified money trusts.

It will also offer a Japanese version of master trusts, which were introduced in Japan at the end of March. Master trust operations would allow corporate pension funds to grasp at a single glance the overall performance of the assets they have entrusted to different asset managers.

The bank will have 50 trillion yen in assets under management in the first year of operations, the officials said.

Sumitomo next on Net

Major trading company Sumitomo Corp. on Wednesday announced plans to jointly set up an Internet financial firm with four other Sumitomo Group firms in September.

The new company, to be set up with Sumitomo Bank, Sumitomo Trust & Banking Co., Sumitomo Marine & Fire Insurance Co. and Sumisho Lease Co., will offer settlement services for electronic commerce between firms.

Tentatively called “Digital Nonbank,” it will be a special-purpose company capitalized at around 100 million yen. It will aim to have assets of around 500 billion yen.

Because of the payment risks involved in electronic commerce, the company will buy and securitize credit from sellers of products.

The company will make use of each of the group companies’ various knowhow in the financial business.

The company hopes to eventually offer comprehensive services for businesses, including delivery of products, it said.