The UFJ financial group is expected to appoint Nippon Life Insurance Co. and T&D Financial Life Insurance Co. as agents tasked with carrying out paperwork and other administrative duties related to UFJ’s sales of life insurance policies, industry officials said Tuesday.

The move forms part of wide-ranging preparations by banks to conduct over-the-counter sales of life insurance products, a sector that will be deregulated in October, the officials said.

The T&D group, which includes Daido Life Insurance Co. and Taiyo Mutual Life Insurance Co., has close business ties with UFJ, while Nippon Life holds a stake in UFJ Holdings Inc.

Ahead of the October deregulation, life insurers are striving to be appointed as agents for banks entering the sector.

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. recently chose Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. as its agent.

Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group Inc. is said to be considering Meiji Life Insurance Co. to fulfill the role, while Mizuho Bank is thought to have Dai-ichi Mutual Life Insurance Co. in its sights.

The agents will register their partner banks’ staff with financial authorities to arrange insurance contracts between insurers and consumers.

Yanagisawa anxious

Financial Services Minister Hakuo Yanagisawa said Tuesday he will address the concerns of two major Aozora Bank stakeholders in relation to Softbank Corp.’s plan to offload its shares in Aozora, the entity that succeeded the failed Nippon Credit Bank.

Referring to Orix Corp. and Tokio Marine & Fire Insurance Co, Yanagisawa told reporters that, “It’s extremely important to see how the two other companies consider (the plan).”

Yanagisawa voiced hope the three stakeholders will hold on to their shares until around September next year, when Aozora hopes to be listed on the stock exchange again.

Internet investor Softbank is contemplating the sale as part of an ongoing program to unload its assets and improve its deteriorating financial status.

NCB, which was under government control between December 1998 and August 2000, was acquired in September 2000 by a consortium led by Softbank, leasing firm Orix and Tokio Marine.

Softbank purchased a 48.87 percent stake in NCB for about 49 billion yen.

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