Japan’s Mitsubishi Financial Group (MUFG) revealed that it is planning to close around 40 percent of its domestic branches by the end of 2023 as the lender plans to adopt more cost-cutting measures in response to the coronavirus crisis.
According to reports, MUFG earlier planned to close around 35 percent of its branches, however, now the bank will be closing 40 percent of its branches in Japan.
The coronavirus pandemic is forcing a number of lenders in Japan to revalue their branches and check cost-effectiveness, even though the government has allowed the banks to function, banking being an essential service.
At the end of March 2018, MUFG had around 515 branches functioning in Japan.
Last year, MUFG revealed it will review the number of branches as it recognised the drastic shift to digitalisation and the increasing demand for internet banking facilities.
Last month, media houses reported that MUFG also plans to let go of around 8000 of its employees by the end of 2024. The bank initially planned to let go of around 6000 of its employees.
Recently, MUFG also became the first Japanese bank to issue a corporate bond in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The lender plans to issue bonds worth $559 million by early June.
The funds raised will be used to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) deal with the coronavirus crisis.
For the corona bond issuance, reportedly, MUFG will target investors who focus on environmental, social, and governance, or ESG, factors in their investment management.
So far, coronavirus bonds worth $40 billion have been issued globally so far with public institutions such as the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Nordic Investment Bank issuing such bonds.