The Financial Reconstruction Commission on Tuesday released its preliminary guidelines for granting licenses to new banks, emphasizing the need to shield them from potential business risks of their parent companies.
The FRC is inviting public comment on the guidelines until June 30, after which it will formalize the rules “as soon as possible,” officials said.
Tuesday’s guidelines would pave the way for new types of banks, such as an Internet bank planned by Sony Corp. and a bank utilizing automatic teller machines at convenience stores planned by supermarket operator Ito-Yokado Co.
Although the guidelines are based on present laws, some legal changes should be considered soon to give regulatory authorities power to reject inappropriate shareholders from participating in bank management, said Sadakazu Tanigaki, FRC chairman and Cabinet minister for financial reconstruction.
Tanigaki said that moves to set up new types of banks “may help revitalize the nation’s financial business and improve user convenience through technological innovation and increased competition.”
The guidelines released Tuesday are a detailed version of a draft submitted May 18 to the Liberal Democratic Party’s financial committee, which endorsed it.
According to the guidelines, the independence of a new bank’s management must be established by authorities if any of its shareholders has a stake of 20 percent or more. The authorized new bank must report to authorities whenever there is a change in such major shareholders.
As a measure to set up fire walls between a bank and its parent firm, Tuesday’s guidelines say the bank must not lend to its parent if the firm’s business worsens financially.
When examining a bank’s license application, regulatory authorities must examine the parent firm’s financial statements and audit reports prepared by more than one auditing firm. Newly authorized banks must regularly submit these documents to authorities.
Internet-based banks without physical branches must prepare measures to secure cash to cope with a rush of withdrawals, the guidelines state.
The guidelines would also be applied in principle to supervision of existing banks that conduct online banking or were bought by nonfinancial firms, the FRC said.