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Mizuho Bank plans to devote more than 200 of its branches to serving individual customers in a reorganization of its nationwide network in the coming two years, Mizuho officials said Saturday.

The branches will represent about half of Mizuho’s domestic total. Each will set business days and hours on its own according to local conditions and will try to increase profits from individual customers by selling investment trusts and offering housing loans and retirement investment management, the officials said.

The bank will focus on individual customer business by carrying out the most drastic operation enhancement plan since it was launched in 2002, they said.

Mizuho was established in a merger of Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank, Fuji Bank and the Industrial Bank of Japan.

The bank plans to open about 100 new branches for individual customers by the end of fiscal 2007 and convert nearly 100 that already exist.

Some existing branches will be closed through the reorganization, but the total will increase by around 10 percent to more than 400, they said.

New branches will mainly be opened in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya in fiscal 2006 and in midsize cities in fiscal 2007.

Mizuho has until now included departments for individual and corporate customers in most of its branches.

Under the reorganization, corporate departments will only exist at major branches, they said.

Among the Mizuho group, Mizuho Bank has dealt mainly with individual and smaller companies, while Mizuho Corporate Bank has dealt chiefly with major companies.

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