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Report: Japanese convenience store chain Lawson to apply for banking license

Japanese convenience store chain Lawson Inc. plans to apply for a preliminary banking license review by the country's Financial Services Agency to launch a banking unit, The Nikkei reported March 25.

The banking unit, to be named Lawson Bank, aims to start operations by autumn 2018, the report said.

If its application is successful, Lawson Bank will become the first new Japanese lender since Daiwa Next Bank Ltd. entered the banking sector in 2011.

In November 2016, Lawson set up the Lawson Bank Preparation Co. which was 95% owned by the company and 5% owned by Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. It also operates a subsidiary, Lawson ATM Networks Inc., which manages ATMs in its convenience stores via partnerships with banks.