Tokyo bank reaches out for client cross-referral

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 17 December, 2007, 12:00am

Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Japan's largest commercial bank, is taking advantage of its strategic relationships with Bank of China and China Merchants Bank for cross-referrals of clients.

The Tokyo-based lender said both BOC and China Merchants had agreed to facilitate introductions to Japanese clients living in mainland cities where it does not have a presence.

'Since our branch network in China is still very limited, it would be wise to have these partners with extensive geographical reach to get new clients on the mainland,' said Nobuyuki Hirano, managing director of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.

In June last year, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ acquired 0.2 per cent of BOC for US$200 million as it sought to catch up with the operations of rivals such as Citigroup and HSBC Holdings.

The Japanese lender hopes to accelerate overseas revenue contribution from the current 15 per cent to 20 per cent in the next few years.

'We will achieve this both organically and by acquisitions,' Mr Hirano said. 'We do hope to establish more alliances with financial institutions in the region.'he said without giving any specific targets.

Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ was among the first foreign lenders to receive approval from the mainland to set up a local subsidiary in Shanghai last July.

Meanwhile, the Japanese bank also reached a co-operation agreement with China Merchants to offer yuan loans to its Japanese corporate clients.

No equity holding is involved.