Press Conference by Taro Aso, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, and Minister of State for Financial Services


(Friday, January 20, 2017, 10:11 am to 10:24 am)

[Questions and answers:]


With regard to the realignment of regional financial institutions, the Fukuoka Financial Group (FFG) and the Eighteenth Bank will be postponing their business integration scheduled for April for six months until October, and today on the 20th they will be respectively carrying out the in-house procedures needed to formally approve this postponement. The merger of the Eighteenth Bank and FFG-affiliated Shinwa Bank that was to have taken place a year after this business integration will also be pushed back by six months. One factor underlying this is the protracted investigation by Japan Fair Trade Commission to determine whether this integration should be permitted. Please tell us how you view the postponement of this business integration.


We are well aware of the news reports, but we have no comment on specific cases. However, we think that such moves are part of efforts by regional banks, second-tier regional banks, credit unions and other financial institutions to find a way forward in light of declining population, and we need to ensure that we do not hinder these efforts by banks and others to clarify the existence of various problems and suitably make independent management decisions so they can pursue business more vigorously, more efficiently and more ambitiously.

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