Tokyo (Reuter) - The world's largest bank was yesterday born in Japan, and pledged to act as a stabilising force in the nation's shaky banking system and lead reform of lending practices in the industry.
Tsuneo Wakai, chairman of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, said his bank would use its position to help ensure that the excesses of Japan's late Eighties "bubble economy", which saddled banks with huge debts from over-aggressive property lending, were not repeated.
"The banking industry must change its behaviour, such as lending heavily to a single sector or doing things just because other members of the industry have done them," Mr Wakai said. He added: "We must establish procedures that will prevent a recurrence of what happened in the bubble economy." The merger of Mitsubishi Bank and Bank of Tokyo, formally completed on Monday, created the world's biggest bank in terms of its assets, which total 77,500bn (pounds 474bn). Industry analysts said the merger could put additional pressure on other Japanese banks to seek marriages as deregulation and bad debt problems threaten a shake-out. …