Japan's Mitsubishi UFJ Trust to bolster testament business with will-making app

Takashi Umekawa
·1-min read
A man walks past a signboard of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and MUFG Bank at its headquarters in Tokyo

By Takashi Umekawa

TOKYO (Reuters) - The trust banking arm of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc <8306.T> plans to strengthen its testament business with a new app in September aimed at giving Japan's aging population experience in crafting a will, its chief executive said.

The initiative comes as Japanese companies put more focus on business for the elderly in a country facing population decline.

Through the app, users will be able to create a mock will and share financial information with family members including bank account details. Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking hopes the app will encourage users to create wills, increasing contact with potential customers, said Chief Executive Iwao Nagashima.

"Consultation about inheritance has been increasing amid the coronavirus outbreak as more people think about family ties," Nagashima said in an interview.

Trust banks are specialist lenders whose offerings typically include asset management and real estate services as well as advisory, which includes writing wills and holding them until death.

The company is aiming for 500,000 app downloads by fiscal 2026, Nagashima said, declining to elaborate on revenue targets for the testament business.

Roughly 8% of people in Japan over 65 years of age created a will in 2019, showed Reuters' calculations based on public data provided by the bank. That compared with about 40% to 50% generally in the United States and Germany, the bank said.

Nagashima also said he was not currently considering another large-scale purchase after Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking last year bought the asset management business of Commonwealth Bank of Australia <CBA.AX> for about 300 billion yen (2.1 billion pounds).

(Reporting by Takashi Umekawa; Editing by Christopher Cushing)