Costs of Antiterror Measures Weighing on Japan Regional Banks

Economy

Tokyo, Sept. 13 (Jiji Press)--Many regional financial institutions in Japan have decided to raise the charges for overseas remittances to cover growing costs for implementing measures against terrorist financing.

Since the 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, international efforts to monitor and combat money laundering and terrorist financing have been strengthened. As a result, related administrative workload put on banks, such as the burden of identity confirmation, has increased.

In October, Bank of Iwate <8345> and Kita-Nippon Bank <8551>, both regional banks, will raise the charge for over-the-counter overseas remittance services to 7,500 yen from 4,500 yen. Tohoku Bank <8349> and First Bank of Toyama <7184> in the same industry are also planning similar markups.

Such moves by Japanese regional banks have been seen since the Financial Services Agency announced the guidelines for financial institutions' anti-money laundering measures in 2018. At least 10 banks have implemented or are planning remittance charge hikes this year.

"While we cannot quit our services as long as we receive remittance requests, we're faced with more and more confirmation work that takes a lot of trouble," a senior official at a regional bank in the Kanto eastern Japan area said, referring to checks about the sender's identity, the receiver's type of business and other information banks are required to make.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press