Provisional Translation

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


(Friday, November 20, 2020, 10:48 am to 11:04 am)

[Questions and answers:]


There have been news reports that SBI will be investing in Jimoto Holdings based in Sendai and Yamagata. While I am very aware that such decisions are up to the financial institutions involved, I would like to ask your views on this as far as you can comment, and I would be grateful if you could also give us your assessment of recent moves by regional banks to seek out loose alliances such as the collaborative use of systems instead of merging with or acquiring other banks.


I know about the Sendai news you mentioned but, as I say every time, financial institutions must exercise their own judgment in such matters, and I have no intention of telling them what to do. Talking in more general terms about management decisions, there are disparities by region in the ongoing population decline or the aging of society or the falling birthrate – there are a number of ways of expressing it – and these circumstances could lead to bank failures, causing branches that perform financial functions to disappear from certain regions, which in turn would make it difficult for regional companies to remain going concerns, as regional financial institutions and regional companies are tied together extremely closely. I think that regional banks or, to be more accurate, regional financial institutions are an extremely important presence in regional development. Thus it is only natural that executives will seek out a variety of business approaches suited to the current circumstances; we no longer live in a time when banks could just sit around and wait for people to drift in and borrow money.

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