The history of the Sumitomo and Mitsui companies date back more than four centuries with both starting as family businesses in Japan. Later, they both become banks – Mitsui in Tokyo in 1876 and Sumitomo in Osaka in 1895. The first European branch of Sumitomo Bank opened in London in 1918.
SMBC was established in 2001 following the merger of Sumitomo and Sakura banks, the latter was formed following the earlier mergers of Mitsui, Taiyo and Kobe banks.
Global reach rooted in Japanese heritage
More than a century of connecting Europe with Asia
With a presence in London since 1918, SMBC Group’s predecessors – Sumitomo and Mitsui – were two of the earliest Japanese banks to operate in Europe. Over the century, the bank has focused on acting as a reliable partner for its European customers. It opened a representative office in Düsseldorf in 1969, and expanded its presence further throughout the 1970s and 1980s with offices in Brussels, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Frankfurt and Dublin, and finally Amsterdam in 1990. When central and eastern Europe transitioned to free-market economies in the early 1990s, SMBC Group was one of the first foreign financial institutions to be active in the region. An office opened in Prague in 2008.
Our institution has roots that trace back more than 400 years, and the EMEA Division of SMBC has more than a century of experience in Europe and more than 40 years in both the Middle East and Africa.