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Toyota applies for U.S. banking license

Toyota Motor Corp. is applying to the state of Nevada for a banking license, which it expects to receive this spring, company officials said Friday.

The automaker wants to expand its sales finance operations in the United States, where its cars are currently selling well.

Toyota submitted the application in late October through its subsidiary Toyota Motor Credit Corp., which is responsible for sales finance operations in the United States.

Unlike their Japanese counterpart, U.S. banking licenses permit the holder to offer other financial services, such as securities and insurance, in addition to banking. Company sources said the Nevada license will likely also apply to the company's operations in other U.S. states.

The company also intends to expand the services it provides in the United States to include retail sale of investment trusts and management of local dealers' assets.

Toyota currently provides sales finance services, such as car loans, worldwide. Its subsidiary Toyota Financial Services Corp. operates sales finance companies in about 20 countries.

The automaker has already obtained banking licenses in some parts of Europe where required for sales finance operations.

Some foreign automakers have in the past expanded their initial sales finance operations to start providing a wide range of banking services. But Toyota executives deny any intention to engage in full-scale banking operations.

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