TOKYO (Reuters) – The banking arm of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc is planning to reduce staffing levels by another 2,000 people by fiscal 2023, the Yomiuri daily reported on Sunday, highlighting its struggle to maintain profits amid ultra-low interest rates.

Japan’s largest lender by assets had announced in 2017 that it expected 6,000 job losses through attrition by fiscal 2023. The additional 2,000 would result from a reduction in new recruits, the paper said.

“It’s true the number of staff reductions has been progressing more than the initial plan,” said MUFG spokeswoman Kana Nagamitsu, adding the report was not what the bank has announced.

Japanese banks have been struggling to boost profits under a policy of aggressive monetary easing that has seen the central bank guide short-term rates toward -0.1% and the 10-year government bond yield to around 0%.

As the traditional lending business remained weak, MUFG’s net interest income came in at 1.38 trillion yen for the nine months through December, down 4.7% from a year earlier.

Peer Mizuho Financial Group Inc said in 2017 it would cut around 19,000 jobs over the next 10 years, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc had said it would cut work done by the equivalent of 5,000 employees by March this year.

(Reporting by Takashi Umekawa; Editing by Kim Coghill)