As part of its expansion plans, UK-based HSBC plans to open as many as 35 branches in Japan without treading the acquisitions path, reported Bloomberg quoting chairman Stephen Green.

The report quoted Mr Green as saying: We think there is a room over the mid to longer term for something like 25 to 35 branches.

Stressing that the bank does not need acquisitions to enhance its wealth management operations, Mr Green said that HSBC was focused essentially on organic growth in Japan. The bank does not intend to form alliances with large Japanese banks, he added.

The bank targets a share of assets worth $13 trillion held by Japanese individuals, the report said.

Subject to regulatory approval, the bank has recently announced plans to open branches in a few cities in Japan to offer wealth management services from January 2008.

Citigroup and UBS have also announced plans to expand in the country, with the former planning to double its retail banking outlets, while the latter is targeting the JPY300 trillion in assets held by the Japanese community.