Japan’s MUFG switches CEO after first year, digital chief takes control
MUFG has switched its CEO after just one year of him taking up the role and will be replacing him with its digital chief in an unusual decision – pointing to the bank’s newly-placed importance on fintech, Reuters reports.
The soon-to-be former CEO, Kanetsugu Mike, will become the group’s deputy chairman and remain head of MUFG Bank, which will be effective from April 2020.
Digital chief-turned CEO Hironori Kamezawa will be breaking one of the bank’s long-established traditions, becoming the first chief executive not to have headed the group’s core unit MUFG Bank before being elevated to group CEO.
His promotion suggests MUFG, which manages $2.8 trillion in assets, is more conscious than ever of the fintech competition going into the new decade.
“The business environment surrounding the financial industry has changed a lot with the entry of other types of firms into the sector,” says Kamezawa at a news conference.
“Some investors have been quite harsh, pointing out, for example, our low share price,” he continues, “I’d like to pour my strength into outlining how we are going to achieve future growth with our next mid-term plan”.
In its current mid-term business plan which takes the bank up to fiscal 2020, MUFG has set 11 priorities which talk about digitalisation as a major area up for structural reform.
At Sibos last year, MUFG’s head of cash and liquidity management in EMEA Alan Verschoyle-King told FinTech Futures it was “ready to work with fintechs”, revealing it already has its eyes on some.
“When Japanense organisations commit to do something, they stick to it,” Verschoyle-King said.
Though historically a build and buy bank, MUFG said it was keen to have an open dialogue with fintechs now and hinted that soon there may be some partnerships or acquisitions in the space.