TOKYO There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution for Japan’s regional banks, which are suffering from a shrinking population, ultra-low interest rates and the hit from the coronavirus pandemic, the country’s new top financial regulator Ryozo Himino said.
Regional banks can use government bail-out programmes if they think that would best serve borrowers, though conditions have not deteriorated to such a degree so far, said Himino, who became the Financial Services Agency’s new commissioner in July.
“At present, there isn’t any regional bank that is facing concerns over its financial health,” said Himino, who replaced Toshihide Endo.
“If some of them do face financial challenges, there are various steps they can take such as cutting costs, coming up with ways to boost profits or raising capital from markets,” he told Reuters on Wednesday.
The coronavirus pandemic has added to pains for Japan’s roughly 100 regional banks already reeling from a weak economy and years of ultra-low rates that have eroded their profit margins.
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