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INTERVIEW: Japan bank assn to support economy after pandemic

Tokyo, July 1 (Jiji Press)–Makoto Takashima, who became chairman of the Japanese Bankers Association on Thursday, has vowed that the banking industry will support the economy after the novel coronavirus pandemic.


In a recent interview with Jiji Press, Takashima, president of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., said that the industry will continue to help its clients secure funding amid the coronavirus crisis, adding that such aid will be “the highest priority.”


“I hope to make this a year in which (the industry) fully supports new moves to revitalize the economy and society,” with an eye toward a world after the pandemic, he continued.


Takashima took the post for a one-year tenure, succeeding Kanetsugu Mike, chairman of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. <8306>.


Expressing his hopes for an economic recovery, Takashima said that many companies are expected to see their sales recover if restrictions on economic activities are eased as COVID-19 vaccinations progress.


Meanwhile, Takashima observed that the banking industry’s next major agenda will be to provide support for business turnaround and restructuring efforts by companies hit hard by the pandemic.


The agenda “will be based on the premise that banks will individually support (such efforts) from the perspective of enhancing profitability to turn businesses into sustainable operations,” he said.


On the government’s moves to make it easier to use out-of-court debt settlement procedures, Takashima said that the industry will again work hard to determine key points it should examine over the matter.


He welcomed the Bank of Japan’s decision to introduce a new fund supply scheme to encourage financial institutions to boost investments and loans in areas related to climate change.


Takashima showed his industry’s readiness to exchange opinions with the BOJ to ensure that the new scheme contributes to the fight against climate change.

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