Rakuten Group aims to overhaul fintech business

Japanese online services giant Rakuten Group has announced that it is to embark on a major reorganization of its fintech services. The changes would be aimed at boosting management efficiency and strengthening collaboration between group firms.

Rakuten Group and Rakuten Bank said in a statement on Monday that they entered into a memorandum of understanding on the reorganization, which is set to take effect in October.

Rakuten aims to combine its banking, securities, credit card and other financial subsidiaries into one group.

Under the plan, these businesses will all be operated by Rakuten Bank. The banking unit will continue to be a listed company.
Rakuten Group said an earlier plan to float the shares of its securities brokerage may not go ahead.

The group has posted net losses for five years in a row largely due to its struggling mobile-phone business. It is aiming to streamline the financial business that has been doing well.

The restructuring of Rakuten is likely to intensify the fierce competition in the financial sector. It comes at a time when individual investments and cashless settlements are gaining in popularity.