Press Conference by Taro Aso, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, and Minister of State for Financial Services
(Friday, December 2, 2016, 9:13 am to 9:21 am)
[Questions and answers:]
This afternoon, the LDP’s Diet Member for Promoting New Uses for Post Offices will reportedly be submitting a policy proposal to you. How do you think the Financial Services Agency (FSA) will respond after receiving this proposal?
I cannot comment until I hear the details of the proposal.
It calls among other things for raising the upper limit on deposits at Japan Post Bank.
I believe the upper limit at Japan Post Bank was raised last year, but the recommendation is to raise it further?
Yes, by the end of the fiscal year.
Is that all?
There are various other items covered, including deregulation, authorization of loan services that has been held up at the FSA, and tax measures.
Do you mean loan services provided by Japan Post Bank?
The Japan Post Group applied a few years ago to the FSA for permission to provide housing loans and other financing as a new business, but this application has been held up, and the proposal suggests that the FSA promptly authorize these new services. There are several proposals, though.
Did something significant result when the upper limit was raised? Not once have I heard that it worked out well for Japan Post Bank or that they were grateful for it, so I am not sure about this. Lending requires that you lend money to people who can pay it back; it makes no sense to loan money to people who cannot repay it. Screening capabilities and lending capabilities are two completely different things, and I have never been told that Japan Post Bank has such capabilities. Will it be training people over the next year? Can it actually provide loan services? Lending is no easy matter and, as we are talking about taking customers’ deposits, lending them out, and then collecting that money as well as interest, it will necessitate extraordinary efforts. Screening capabilities are one thing, while lending capabilities are another. We have no idea who would be involved in such lending until we hear more. This will likely be discussed by the Postal Privatization Committee, so we will have to wait to hear from them.
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