The Sanwa Bank, Ltd.

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An advert for Sanwa Bank.

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Sanwa Bank's San Francisco branch (opened in 1953)

Sanwa was a leader in expanding banking services to the general public, including individual consumers and small businesses. To serve Japanese exporters, the bank opened its first international branch, in San Francisco, in 1953.

In the 1980s and '90s, Sanwa was a pioneer in the installation of ATMs and the promotion of online banking in Japan, and continued to develop its strong international network. In 1995, it was the world’s top bank in terms of assets, moving down to #2 after the merger of the Bank of Tokyo and Mitsubishi Bank in 1996.