Japan Regional Banks Suffer 3.9 Pct Net Profit Drop

Economy

Tokyo, Feb. 16 (Jiji Press)--Combined net profits at 100 regional banks in Japan dropped 3.9 pct year on year to 609.4 billion yen in April-December last year amid the prolonged coronavirus crisis, according to their earnings reports released by Tuesday.

Their combined credit costs in the first three quarters of fiscal 2020 rose only about 10 pct, marking a lower-than-expected increase, as the government's financial support successfully capped the number of corporate bankruptcies.

But four of the 100 banks--Higashi-Nippon Bank, Tokyo Star Bank, Kirayaka Bank and Fukushima Bank <8562>--incurred net losses. Forty-four banks, including Daishi Hokuetsu Bank, which was launched in January through the merger of two banks, suffered profit falls.

Combined net profits at 99 banks that have disclosed their earnings projections for the full year to March already reached 95 pct of the estimated level. Still, regional banks' earnings are facing stronger downside pressure due to the prolonged viral woes.

Industry officials are concerned that many banks may have to increase credit costs in January-March because the fresh wave of infections since last autumn and the ongoing second state of emergency over the epidemic will likely deal an additional blow to businesses in the country.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press