GMO Click and Aozora Bank Eye 2017 to Launch New Venture

GMO considering stake in Aozora ahead of planned online bank synergy.

Following discussions last June between Japan-based online brokerage GMO CLICK and Aozora Bank regarding the establishment of an internet banking partnership, GMO today announced progress on the talks as both companies eye fiscal year 2017 to launch the planned venture, subject to regulatory approval.

As part of the planned synergy, the companies expect to create financial services offerings that combine within an online banking framework, and leverage FinTech as an approach to customer solutions, according to the description of the ongoing talks aimed at jointly operating a next-generation online bank.

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In addition, GMO plans to use its subsidiary GMO Click Securities to offer related financial products alongside the banking suite of services.

Both GMO Internet and GMO CLICK are considering taking a stake in Aozora Bank, and Aozora Trust Bank, as part of the partnership.

The companies are discussing how to best provision services that lead to both higher productivity and the introduction of new types of lending products. Aozora Bank had 4,705 billion JPY in assets as of the end of 2015, and 6.5 billion JPY held by Aozora Bank Trust. GMO CLICK consolidated assets totaled 450 billion JPY as of December 31 2015, and 554 billion JPY for GMO Internet Inc, according to the update.

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