The Japanese-based parent of Union Bank in San Francisco has restructured its U.S. operations in order to improve its efficiency and help it better identify expansion opportunities here.

The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. said last week that it has combined Union Bank and its New York-based trust unit under a single holding company, BTMU U.S. Holdings, which is led by a single U.S. chief executive. The company has also established a U.S. advisory board, made up primarily of outsiders, and an internal U.S. management committee, both of which will help the company set strategic direction for the U.S.

The company said in a news release that "growth in the U.S. market is crucial to its development strategy." It did not discuss specific goals, but a report in the San Francisco Business Times last week said that its aim is to build the $81 billion-asset Union Bank into one of the country's 10-largest banks.

"This new structure will enable us to be more nimble and flexible in responding to U.S. market opportunities and provide better governance to make decisions necessary to achieve the company's aggressive growth plans," Masaaki Tanaka, the holding company's new CEO, told the San Francisco Business Times.

Tanaka, who is based in New York, is a former CEO at Union Bank. The bank's current CEO, Masahi Oka, now reports to him.

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