Tokyo Star Bank opened a lounge-style branch in the Jiyugaoka district Monday to offer customers investment advice in a relaxed atmosphere.

The regional lender calls the branch a “financial lounge.” There is no counter. Instead, there are individual booths with tables and chairs, and customers are served beverages.

The branch’s regular banking operations end at 3 p.m. on weekdays but consulting operations are offered until 7 p.m. and on weekends. Automated teller machines are open 24 hours a day.

The bank said it plans to open around 30 more lounge-style branches over the next year.

Tokyo Star went into business in June 2001 after taking over the assets of Tokyo Sowa Bank, which went bankrupt in 1999 and was sold to Lone Star Fund, a U.S. private equity fund.

Todd Budge, the bank’s vice president and chief operating officer, is set to become president and chief executive officer following approval at a board meeting June 27.

Budge, 43, will be the youngest bank president in Japan and the first non-Japanese to head a local bank.

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