Mitsubishi UFJ Trust to Sell News-Classifying AI System; Service Likely to be Useful for Major Investors

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corp.

Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corp. will begin selling a system in April using AI to classify domestic and foreign news articles and government announcements according to their importance, mainly for financial institutions that need to be aware of negative information about the targets of their investments.

It is expected that the new system will greatly reduce the time and effort needed to gather information necessary to make decisions on investments and loans. It is rare for major Japanese banks to sell such a system externally.

Through this system developed by Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and a Tokyo-based venture firm in July last year, domestic and foreign news stories and government announcements are read by AI and classified into three categories of importance: “caution” for crime-related information, “attention” for business information such as mergers, and “other,” for data such as stock prices.

Since Mitsubishi UFJ Trust introduced the system, it has experienced an about 90% reduction in the time and manpower burden of checking news.

To ensure the credibility of information, and regarding quick reporting as important, Mitsubishi UFJ Trust will clearly indicate news sources, contracting with domestic and overseas news agencies. The system will cover news articles in Japanese and other languages.

When financial institutions make investments and loans, they pay the greatest attention to negative information, such as violations of laws and regulations. Financial institutions make efforts to collect a wide range of information, including whether companies have violated relevant regulations, have been involved in money laundering, or have been designated as a target of economic sanctions.

Staff members of financial institutions usually gather large amounts of information through internet. However, they may overlook important articles as a large number of low-priority articles such as daily stock price information are also displayed. It also takes time to sort through so much information. There have been cases in which financial institutions have had to forgo investments as they were unable to check the necessary information.

The system is scheduled to be available from April at about ¥1 million per month. Mitsubishi UFJ Trust hopes to expand the users of the system to include overseas asset management companies to encourage them to invest in Japan.