LINE Corporation and Mizuho Financial Group, Inc. (TYO:8411) announced today that their respective subsidiaries, LINE Financial Corporation and Mizuho Bank, Ltd, have jointly agreed to make an additional investment in LINE Bank Preparatory Company.

LINE Financial and Mizuho Bank are taking these necessary steps as they proceed with preparations to establish a user-friendly “smartphone bank” connected to the LINE app, with the aim of establishing a new bank in Japan within fiscal year 2022, subject to approval by relevant authorities.

In order to further accelerate system development prior to launching the banking service, LINE Financial and Mizuho Bank will make an additional JPY 12 billion investment in LINE Bank Preparatory Company, increasing its capital reserve to JPY 16.5 billion.

Additionally, in order to strengthen cooperation between LINE Financial and Mizuho Bank and reinforce their joint commitment as equal partners, a Co-CEO management structure will be introduced. In addition to the current CEO, a Co-CEO will be appointed by Mizuho Bank, with the remainder of the board comprised by four directors and auditors appointed by LINE Financial and four by Mizuho Bank, further strengthening the governance structure of LINE Bank Preparatory Company. The appointment of the Co-CEO will be announced once a decision is finalized.

Established in May 2019, LINE Bank Preparatory Company aims to provide financial services via smartphones to meet the needs to users of all ages, as the need for services has grown with the wider use of cashless payments since the spread of COVID-19 and the acceleration of digital transformation. Being developed as the only smartphone-based “main bank,” this bank will be integrated into the LINE app, allowing for utmost convenience for the digital generation.

Following the successful launch of LINE BK in Thailand last year, LINE has further plans in 2021 to expand banking services into other countries, including Taiwan and Indonesia.