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Japanese retailer Lawson to open bank

Japan’s convenience stores firm Lawson is planning to enter the banking industry, according to news reports. The company would make use its network of more than 12,000 convenience stores throughout the country to collect deposits. It plans to focus on payment services, such as bank transfers, in order to attract customers. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group may acquire a small stake in the new bank, with the partners possibly cooperating on ATMs and using information technology to offer new services. Lawson would be the third company in Japan’s retail industry to step into the banking business, behind rival Seven & i Holdings, which entered the field in 2001, and supermarket operator Aeon, which received a banking license in 2007. FamilyMart and Japan Net Bank too are now in the fray.

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