International Strategies of Japanese Banks: The European by J. Thorsten Duser

By J. Thorsten Duser

Covering the years 1971-89 the booklet offers the 1st significant research of the big foreign growth of eastern banks. it truly is accordingly a useful resource of knowledge for teachers and businessmen alike. the focal point on their presence in Europe and the review of implications after 1992 is a standpoint by no means utilized earlier than. Two-and-a-half years of analysis in London, Frankfurt and Tokyo have led to the improvement of a scientific method of determine the foremost pressures shaping their strategies.

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38 Legally there is no restriction on the period of credit offered by ordinary banks39 but it was assumed that the risk of maturity mismatching would constitute a 'natural' border-line, between bondfinanced long-term credit banks on the one hand and depositfinanced ordinary banks on the other, as regards their fund employment strategies. As long as there was enough business for both groups in their respective domain the system worked. However, in the absence of other substantial sources of revenues than corporate lending, the general slow-down in corporate fund demand after 1973 drove them just as 'naturally' into competition.

Rates were to be set according to maturity within the limits of TIRAL. Liberalization has concentrated on large time deposits, reducing the threshold as regards the size of deposits for which interest rates can be set according to market rates from ¥1bn and over in October 1985 to ¥50m and over in April 1988. Moreover the required maturity was cut down from 3 months to one month in October 1987. The merits of interest-rate deregulation have yet to be passed on to small investors, however. In April 1988, the tax breaks for small savers, which were introduced in 196327 and spawned tax evasion on a huge scale 28 because of the lack of stringent controls, were abolished in April 1988 (savers now have to pay a flat rate of 20 per cent on all their savings, exceptions being made only for cases of hardship, such as the disabled, single mothers and pensioners).

On the one hand, the commercial banks have widened their lending spectrum to include smaller companies; and on the other, the development of information processing systems has made it possible to link banks and customers directly, rendering almost useless, for example, one particular form of inter-trade credit, commercial bills. Behind the structural shifts described here the push of many Japanese firms into active financial profit-generating can be recognized. With an appreciating home currency, rising stock markets and arbitrage opportunities stemming from the parallel existence of regulated and unregulated financial instruments in Japan, financial profits could be made rather easily in recent years.

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