Half of Japan’s regional banks see profit loss

15 February, 2021 12:00 AM printer

TOKYO: More than half of 78 listed Japanese regional banking groups and banks saw a decline in their net profits or incurred red ink in the April-December period, hit by the coronavirus pandemic, an analysis of their earnings reports showed Saturday.

Also affected by the Bank of Japan’s ultraeasy monetary policy, resulting in low lending interest rates, their combined net profit fell 18.4 percent to 603.3 billion yen in the nine months from a year earlier, the analysis showed, report agencies.

The central bank is maintaining short-term rates at minus 0.1 percent while guiding long-term rates at around zero percent in a bid to achieve its 2 percent inflation target. The government is also supporting companies reeling from the pandemic by providing them with interest-free loans without collateral.

In 2020, the number of corporate bankruptcies in Japan fell to the lowest in 31 years, thanks to the government’s financial assistance.