When Zions Bancorp. announced in March that it would buy the California operations of Sumitomo Bank Ltd., Salt Lake City-based Zions acknowledged that combining the two banks would not be easy.

Two-thirds of Sumitomo's California customers are of Asian descent, and they would need to be persuaded to stick around. Meanwhile, Zions wants to convince depositors to switch their savings accounts to more transactional investment accounts, and it wants to retool Sumitomo's branch work force to become more sales-oriented.

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