Tokyo-based Nomura Holdings, Japan's biggest securities dealer, is considering launching Internet retail banking services, according to local press reports.
Japan's Asahi newspaper has reported that Nomura Securities, the group's core unit, could introduce limited online retail banking services - such as deposits, payment transfers and settlements and bill payment - as early as next year. Under the plans, customers would be able to withdraw funds from Nomura Securities' branch offices and ATMs.
The move comes as the Japanese government prepares to deregulate the industry and scrap barriers separating domestic banks and brokerages.
Current laws prohibit securities firms from offering retail banking services and Nomura Securities currently uses the group's Trust & Banking unit to offer banking services. The new legislation would enable Nomura Securities to become a banking agent for Nomura Trust, which already has a banking licence.
Nomura spokesman Shuji Sato told reporters that the brokerage is considering ways to expand business and moving into banking is one such option, but nothing concrete has yet been decided.