TOKYO :Mitsubishi UFJ is considering selling its U.S. banking arm MUFG Union Bank, Bloomberg reported on Friday, in what would mark a significant strategy shift for Japan's biggest lender.
Mitsubishi UFJ, one of the world's biggest banks by assets, is working with an adviser to explore options for the U.S. subsidiary, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
A Mitsubishi UFJ spokesperson said the bank had no comment on the matter.
The Japanese bank has had some informal talks with potential buyers but has not started a formal auction, Bloomberg said.
MUFG Union Bank had around 300 branches as of the end of last year, with most of those retail branches on the West coast of the United States, its website shows.
With assets of US$132 billion, it provides corporate, commercial and retail banking as well as wealth management.
It became a wholly owned unit of Mitsubishi UFJ in 2008, when the Japanese lender paid around US$3.5 billion for the third it did not already control in Union Bank.
At the time, Mitsubishi UFJ said its plan was to boost its presence in the United States.
(Reporting by David Dolan and Tim KellyEditing by David Goodman and Alexander Smith)