LINE, Mizuho agree to form new bank

Maria Nikolova

The new bank will provide smartphone-based banking services which are easy to use, therefore bringing banking services closer to people.

LINE and Mizuho Financial Group, Inc. (TYO:8411) today announce they have agreed to establish a joint venture that will lead to the establishment of a new bank, through their subsidiaries LINE Financial Corporation and Mizuho Bank, Ltd.

The establishment of the joint venture is in tune with LINE’s mission “Closing the Distance”. In order to tackle the challenges in the financial industry and to meet customers’ needs, LINE and LINE Financial have decided to enter into banking business, aiming to improve the usability of other financial services.

Regarding Mizuho, it aims to pursue better use of technologies and to provide convenient financial services to a broader customer base by offering an open platform for third parties, utilizing its financial expertise. In particular, the new bank will allow Mizuho to approach the smartphone generation.

The new bank will be linked to the LINE application and will provide smartphone based banking services which are easy to use and approachable, therefore bringing banking service closer to people.

The new company will have capital (and capital reserves) of JPY 2 billion. LINE Financial Corporation will have a 51% stake in the new bank, while Mizuho Bank, Ltd will hold a 49% stake.

The announcement underlines the close ties established by fintech companies and banks these days. In July this year, for instance, GMO Internet Inc. (TYO:9449) and GMO Financial Holdings unveiled the launch of a new Internet banking business. The new business was launched by GMO Aozora Net Bank, in which GMO Internet, GMO Financial Holdings jointly invest with Aozora Bank. The aim is to offer new financial services through the integration of finance and information technology, responding to the further development of IT and changes in the users’ actions and preferences.

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