The government’s Financial Reconstruction Commission will provisionally approve today a plan by a consortium led by Sakura Bank to form an Internet bank, making it the first to be granted a license to offer Web-based banking services, FRC officials said Wednesday.
Japan Net Bank envisions starting operations by the end of October, contingent on a final FRC endorsement, consortium officials said.
By teaming up with major Internet service providers, Japan Net Bank will enable computer users to pay for goods and services on the basis of their deposit accounts at the bank and also loan money to individual borrowers.
Sakura, one of Japan’s nine major commercial banks with a nationwide network of branches, will own 50 percent of the bank, with the remainder of the capital to be put up by firms including Tokyo Electric Power Co., Fujitsu Ltd. and NTT DoCoMo Inc.
The FRC is also set to approve today an application by Fuji Bank, Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank and the Industrial Bank of Japan to set up a financial holding company, Mizuho Holdings Inc., which will put the three banks under a unified management, the officials said.
Mizuho Holdings will become the first holding company with its legal basis in the Banking Law.
The FRC’s endorsement will open the way for Mizuho Holdings to be inaugurated as a legal corporate entity on Sept. 29.
The FRC has selected Japan Net Bank as the first Web bank to receive a license because the consortium has given the planned bank a “back-up” computerized system to cope with a halt in its banking services in the event a mishap paralyzes the bank’s network of automatic teller machines.
The FRC earlier devised a set of directives which would-be operators of an Internet bank have to meet. Among them is a regulation mandating that such a bank must be equipped with a back-up system to forestall disruptions to its banking services.
Ito-Yokado Co. and Sony Corp. are also preparing the documentation necessary for FRC approval of their plans to set up an Internet bank.
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