Maintenance of the Functions of the Financial System and Financial Markets under the Declaration of a State of Emergency Responding to the Spread of the COVID-19 Infection(Statement by Mr. Aso, Minister of State for Financial Services)
With regard to the state of emergency declared in response to the spread of the COVID-19 infection, the government changed the areas where emergency measures should be taken on May 14, 2020.
Accordingly, we request financial institutions outside the areas subject to emergency measures to continue required services, while continuously making efforts to prevent the spread of infection. When doing so, relevant financial institutions should adopt appropriate methods to perform duties in accordance with the circumstances of their respective areas.
For financial institutions in the areas subject to emergency measures, we continuously ask for cooperation as follows.
The general public are also requested to offer cooperation as follows, irrespective of whether the area is subject to emergency measures or not.
(Request to financial institutions)
Financial institutions in areas subject to emergency measures are requested to make efforts for preventing the spread of infection in line with the policies and requests of the central government and respective prefectures, and to endeavor to properly continue required services based on the basic concept indicated in the Attachment from the perspective of protecting customers and maintaining financial functions to support economic activities of the people, including cash flow support for companies, even under such circumstances.
Financial exchanges are also requested to endeavor to properly continue required services in the same manner from the perspective of maintaining market functions.
(Request to financial service users)
Even in areas subject to emergency measures, deposit-taking institutions will open their branches and continue customer services relating to deposits, exchanges, bills, remittances, loans, ATMs, etc., including cash flow support for companies.
Japan's financial system has been stable, and FSA will take actions appropriately, in close collaboration with financial institutions, financial exchanges, the Bank of Japan, relevant ministries and agencies, and prefectures, so as to prevent any serious hindrance to the functions of the financial system and financial markets in any circumstances. Therefore, I would like to ask you to act calmly.
In consideration of the purport of the government's declaration of a state of emergency and respective prefectures' requests for preventing the spread of infection, financial institutions are reducing unnecessary face-to-face services to the extent possible irrespective of whether the area is subject to emergency measures or not. The general public are also requested to use the internet, call centers, ATMs, etc. so as to avoid face-to-face contact wherever possible.
Cases of fraud or illegal lending taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic are highly likely to occur. FSA will take countermeasures in cooperation with relevant organizations, but I would like to ask you to be careful about such risks.
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