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Lawson to start banking business in October

This file photo taken in October 2016 shows a Lawson store in Tokyo. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Convenience store chain Lawson Inc. said Friday it will launch a banking business in October, using the network of more than 13,000 automated teller machines located in its shops throughout Japan.

Its subsidiary Lawson Bank earned a license to start the business from the Financial Services Agency the same day. The unit had made its application earlier this month.

Lawson currently offers financial services including cash deposits, withdrawals and transfers in cooperation with other banks. With the license, it will start dealing with time deposits and loans starting Oct. 15.

Lawson's announcement follows similar moves by Seven & i Holdings Co. and Aeon Co., signaling that major retailers are replacing conventional banks in offering financial services in less-populated areas where large lenders cannot sustain their operations.

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