Press Conference by SUZUKI Shunichi, Minister of Finance and Minister of State for Financial Services
(Friday, November 10, 2023, 5:01 pm to 5:30 am)
I would like to ask questions about the Financial Services Agency (FSA). The FSA introduced to the Diet bills to make amendments to the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act (FIEA) and the Act on Book-Entry Transfer of Corporate Bonds and Shares, which have been carried over to the current session. I suppose some may worry about the matters concerning State Minister of Finance Kanda as the issue could interrupt proceedings at the Committee on Financial Affairs of the House of Councilors. If the amendment bill for the FIEA should fail to pass the Diet, that would have a significant impact on private-sector businesses. Would you tell us what you think of that?
Regarding the matter of the proceedings, the relationship between the legislative and administrative bodies may be reflected. The bill passed the House of Representatives at the last ordinary session while the House of Councilors carried it over, and there is also an issue as you pointed out. From the standpoint of the FSA, however, the bill contains the perspective of enhancing financial and economic education, a key to initiatives for promoting Japan as a leading asset management center, and the establishment of an institution for that. As part of the administrative body, we expect that the legislators will proceed with deliberations and approve it as early as possible.
On the other hand, the legislature will determine themselves schedules and other matters of the Committee. We have our own expectations as I just mentioned, while we will fully respect their decisions.
I would like to ask a question about matters related to fraudulent insurance claims made by BIGMOTOR. A media report says the FSA has started considering whether to revoke the registration of the company as an insurance agent. Would you tell us the current status of the review?
On-site inspection at BIGMOTOR have finished today, I have been informed by the office in charge.
We examined the company to find out why and how they had been left unchecked for so long despite problems in their basic practices, such as insurance solicitation. We must refrain at the moment from commenting in detail about what we found as fact through the inspection and what evaluation we have made about that, as that is closely related to what administrative action we will take and we are just considering specifically what action we should take.
We carried out the inspection, placing the focus on whether BIGMOTOR, as an insurance agent, had operated with any defect in governance and prevalent malpractices harmful to the protection of customers. We must refrain from suggesting what administrative action we will take and when based on speculation. With the principle that we must take strict action according to laws and regulations especially from the standpoint of policyholder protection, we will determine quickly what action we must take.
You have just explained for us the FSA's activities in the case of BIGMOTOR. In relation to that, the FSA has carried out on-site inspection at Sompo Japan, and has also started the inspection at Sompo Holdings this week. I would like to ask whether the work has been completed or not. And why did the FSA conclude the inspection of BIGMOTOR separately? Please let me ask one more question. Do you mean nothing has been decided about possible imposition of administrative actions on BIGMOTOR?
I will answer the second question first. The on-site inspection of BIGMOTOR have been completed today. The FSA will carry out a comprehensive review of the various information collected, before taking any administrative action, any measures according to laws and regulations, at the appropriate time, as early as possible.
For the first question, inspections of Sompo Japan and Sompo Holdings have just got under way.
Regarding administrative actions or measures according to laws and regulations, against BIGMOTOR, that you have mentioned, do you mean the FSA has decided to impose some administrative actions as a definite policy?
As I answered just now, when asked a question about a news report, that is, whether the FSA has started considering whether to revoke the registration of the company as insurance agent, we hope to act quickly with the principle that we must take strict action according to laws and regulations, especially from the standpoint of policyholder protection. However, we have yet to make any specific decision. We are still working on that.
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