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2 Japanese banks postpone merger

Two Japanese banks – Fukuoka Financial Group and Eighteenth Bank – said they are putting on hold their plans to integrate operations. They cited anti-monopoly issues as the reason. Fukuoka Financial Group, the largest banking group on Japan’s southern-most main island of Kyushu, had said it planned to buy Eighteenth Bank with an intention of merging it with Shinwa Bank, which it controls. The two banks said they will continue their efforts to achieve the integration soon. The decision to put the plan on hold because it was still under review by the country’s Fair Trade Commission, and did not give a specific date for the merger. According to reports, the FTC was objecting to the merger because the combined entity would control about 70% of loans in Nagasaki prefecture, where Shinwa Bank and Eighteenth Bank operate, undermining competition.

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