Sakura, Nippon Life to tie up on financial ventures.
Sakura Bank and Nippon Life Insurance Co. announced Friday they are collaborating in the creation of a consumer finance company targeting individuals.
The major commercial bank and Japan's biggest insurance house, along with other partners, will set up the company by the end of March 31, the end of their current fiscal year.
Nippon Life will also invest in an Internet bank Sakura is going to establish with major computer maker Fujitsu Ltd.
The consumer finance company will be capitalized at around 10 billion yen, 70% put up by Sakura Bank and 10% each by Nippon Life, consumer finance firm Sanyo Shinpan Finance Co. and convenience store franchiser am/pm Japan.
The new company will offer small-lot unsecured loans -- 100,000-500,000 yen -- to individuals who file loan requests via terminals to be set up at am/pm Japan outlets, through the Internet or by phone.
Sakura and Nippon Life plan to start operating the new company by June next year and expand the balance of loans to 500 billion yen within five years.
In another area, Nippon Life plans to take a 10% equity stake in the Internet-based bank that Sakura and Fujitsu are setting up.
These companies are contemplating allowing policyholders of Nippon Life to use accounts with the envisioned online bank to pay monthly insurance premiums or receive insurance benefits, they said.
Nippon Life has 15 million policyholders, while Sakura Bank has a customer base of 15 million accounts. The envisioned joint venture will therefore have a potential customer base of 30 million.
Sakura and Nippon Life also said they will also consider working with am/pm Japan to explore any business opportunities they can jointly undertake in the area of nursing care services for the elderly.