Resona Holdings Inc., recipient of a ¥1.96 trillion bailout in 2003, plans to pay back most of the money still owed to taxpayers earlier than scheduled thanks to growing profit reserves.

"We've built retained earnings and are not going to sell new shares," Resona President Seiji Higaki, 60, said Wednesday in an interview in Tokyo. The bank will purchase ¥450 billion of the government's preferred shares earlier than the current target of late 2015, he said.

Taxpayers have injected ¥3.1 trillion into Resona since 1999, when banks were saddled with bad loans after the asset bubble burst, and the Tokyo-based lender still owes ¥872 billion. Resona has turned itself around since the 2003 bailout, posting profit in the past eight fiscal years by focusing on lending to retail customers.