Magazine article American Banker

Mitsubishi Bank Is Expecting Big Gains from BanCal Merger

Magazine article American Banker

Mitsubishi Bank Is Expecting Big Gains from BanCal Merger

Article excerpt

TOKYO -- Mitsubishi Bank's proposed acquisition of BanCal Tri-State Corp., San Francisco, would allow the Japanese bank to expand into regions and businesses generally outside the realm of foreign banks, Mitsubishi officcials say.

The merger plan was approved by the Federal Reserve Board last week and now awaits the approval of the Japanese Ministry of Finance.

In particular, Mitsubishi officials say, the $2.2 billion-deposit Bank of California, a subsidiary of the $3.8 billion-asset BanCal, will offer an entry into the lucrative California middle market and the Oregon and Washington markets.

A Bank of California representative office in Taiwan, moreover, would offer Mitsubishi a back door to trade and other financing on the island without compromising its two branches in the People's Republic of China. Officers at Bank of California and Mitsubishi Bank, however, deny that the potential for such an office influenced their decision to merge.

As for new lines of business, Mitsubishi is particularly attracted to Bank of California's expertise in trust banking, to which it devoted most of its business during the 1940s and '50s, and its emphasis on middle-market industries such as agriculture, fisheries, high technology, and wholesaling, according to Tsutomu Tanaka, manager of the international planning division at Mitsubishi.

The bank "anticipates swapping contacts in import and export of Pacific trade along the entire West Coast as an introduction to other services and ties," Mr. …

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