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March 30, 2000
Sony Begins Preparations to Establish a Net Bank
Aiming for the Creation of Network Financial Services
At a Board of Directors' Meeting held today, Sony Corporation formally decided to start preparations to obtain a banking license for the establishment of a Net Bank.
Sakura Bank and J.P. Morgan are scheduled to take equity stakes in the proposed Net Bank. The proposed capitalization is 37.5 billion yen with Sony Corporation taking a 30 billion yen equity stake (80%), Sakura Bank
6 billion yen (16%), and J.P. Morgan 1.5 billion yen(4%).
Sony Corporation seeks to establish an internet retail bank which will provide individual customers with enhanced financial services in such areas as deposit-taking, lending, fund transfer and settlement transactions. Intensive study will now ensue to finalize a comprehensive business plan and service contents.
Sony will request Sakura Bank to provide industry expertise and access to its comprehensive Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) Network in developing its net bank business plan. ATMs are essential in increasing the number of customers who will access convenient retail banking services. Convenience Store ATMs are especially attractive in this regard. Sakura Bank has developed this aspect of its business aggressively, and the match with Sony's strategy means that we now seek its cooperation as a business partner in this field.
In addition, Sony will request J.P. Morgan to provide the personal financial advice tools ("advice engine") which it currently offers over the Internet (http://www.morganonline.com). As Sony develops its planned private banking service to the widest range of individual customers, expertise in asset management advice will be essential to give enhanced financial services. The advice engine will play a crucial role in this regard.
To enter the banking business the most advanced risk management methods conforming to international standards must be applied. Sony is considering an investment in the RiskMetrics Group, recognized as a pioneer in this field.