Sony Financial Holdings, the banking arm of electronics giant Sony Corporation, yesterday revealed that it has received approval from the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) to set up a satellite office in Sydney, with a view to offer online banking services for local customers in 2012.
Based in Tokyo, Japan, Sony Financial Holdings acts as an umbrella group for Sony's financial interests, including Sony Bank, Sony Life Insurance, Sony Assurance and Sony Bank Securities.
In a summary statement released to the Nikkei yesterday, Sony Financial Holdings said that it will set up an Australian office in response to high demand for financial services in-country.
According to Sony Financial Holdings, the local presence will conduct research into the market.
"Sony Bank will open the Sydney Representative Office for the purpose of researching the Australian financial market, since the Bank customers' demands for investment into this market are high," Sony said in a statement yesterday.
According to AFP, the office set to be open in Australia is an arm of Sony Financial Holdings' online banking division.
Sony Financial Holdings' move into the Australian market is likely to ruffle the feathers of existing players, who, over the last 12 months, have expressed concerns over new, high-tech players entering the market.
Sony Financial Holdings looks to enter the market mere months after its parent let the personal information of millions of customers fall into the hands of hackers, damaging consumer confidence in the Sony brand and costing the company an estimated US$171 million.