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Banking

The CEOs speak out: Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group

Teisuke Kitayama, president, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group chairman of the board, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.

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Teisuke Kitayama is in his third year as president of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group. The firm is unique among the megabanks in that it does not outright own a major securities subsidiary: instead there is a joint venture with Daiwa Securities SMBC, a dominant force in domestic equities behind the independent powerhouse Nomura. Here he speaks to Lawrence White about the problems of the past, expanding overseas and benchmarking the Japanese banks.

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It’s been pointed out that the problems the US and its banks are currently having as a result of the sub-prime crisis are in some ways similar to those facing Japan after its crisis 10 years ago. To what extent do you feel that’s true, and what lessons can be learned by studying how Japan’s banks dealt with their issues?

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The key thing the US and European banks can learn from the Japanese crisis is the value of quick action.



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