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The UFJ financial group may integrate the banking operations of UFJ Bank and UFJ Trust Bank by around January 2005, group officials said Tuesday.

By ensuring that these operations do not overlap, the group, which operates under UFJ Holdings Inc., aims to boost efficiency and profitability.

The move would mark the first time for a major Japanese banking group to completely reorganize its bank and trust bank divisions.

Under the plan, UFJ Trust Bank would spin off its banking division and the new company would be merged with UFJ Bank, the officials said.

In the wake of the spinoff, UFJ Trust Bank would concentrate on corporate stock transactions.

It would also provide companies and individuals with pension fund and testamentary trust services.

The UFJ group initially planned to integrate its banking operations in the first half of the 2003 business year, but has decided to delay the plan by around two years, however, citing the time needed to transfer its computer systems.

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