The Finance Ministry on July 31 outlined a package of securities-related deregulation measures that includes lifting a ban on cash management accounts and allowing investment trusts to be sold at banks.

The measures are to take effect by the end of the year, with the lifting of the ban to be implemented in October and sales of investment trusts to begin in December. The steps are part of the government’s so-called “Big Bang” financial reform and are intended to expand entry of financial institutions into each other’s business areas. Under the measures announced July 31, securities firms would be able to introduce cash management accounts beginning Oct. 1.

These accounts, the core of which would be short-term bond investment trusts, would broaden the range of settlements such as utility bill payments and direct salary deposits to be conducted through a brokerage. Also to be scrapped beginning August 1 are ministry directives that a minimum 100,000 yen be invested in money management funds and “chukoku” medium-term government bonds.

The regulation requiring a penalty of 10 yen for every 10,000 yen when these funds are canceled within 30 days following purchase will also be abolished as of August 1. Finance Ministry officials said the recent measures will remove restrictions and allow individual securities companies to set new rules regarding cancellations fees and minimum investment levels for MMF and chukoku funds.

Investors are expected to find handling accounts at securities firms easier as the gaps between bank account functions narrow. Over-the-counter sales of investment trusts at banks will be available Dec. 1, when investment trust firms rent office space from banks to directly sell their beneficiary certificates.

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