Three of Japan's leading banks have announced they are to merge to form the world's largest financial group.
The three consisting of Fuji Bank, Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank and Industrial Bank of Japan aim to complete the tie up by the spring of 2002.
The plans will create a bank with combined assets of about $1,300bn (£812bn) far out stripping the current number one financial institution Deutsche Bank with assets of $735bn (£460bn).
The combined group which has over 700 branches and 41,000 staff will spell 6,000 redundancies as the new bank closes up to 150 of its branches
The deal is part of a wider wave of consolidation in the Japan's financial services sector since the recession of the early 1990s which left many banks with bad debts.