If a convenience store in your neighborhood sold securities products, would you drop in to purchase them?
Beginning Thursday, the government will allow companies in all business sectors except banks to buy and sell securities products created by brokerages.
The deregulatory steps are based on the Securities Exchange Law, which was revised in May, and is part of efforts to draw more money out of the nation’s personal financial assets — worth a total 1.41 quadrillion yen — and into financial markets to revitalize the economy.
The government hopes the deregulation will provide individual investors with greater access to financial products.
Although entities outside the brokerage industry have not announced a concrete date to start selling securities, convenience store chains and online service providers have already begun building up information networks with securities firms.
Kenji Yumoto, chief economist at Japan Research Institute Ltd., said companies preparing to enter brokerage services are hoping to attract a larger number of customers by increasing their lineup.
Securities firms are counting on their new partners to attract more customers, especially younger ones, through the expanded sales channels, Yumoto said.
On March 22, Lawson Inc. said it has linked its Loppi online service machines at its outlets with the customer accounts of Nikko Cordial Securities Inc.
Customers of the Tokyo-based securities firm can now deposit and withdraw money via the 3,145 Loppi machines at Lawson stores nationwide.
“The new service is the first step to prepare for the future sales of securities products of Nikko Cordial Securities at our convenience stores,” a Lawson spokesman said.
But he said Lawson has not decided when it will start selling securities.
Rakuten Inc., which runs the nation’s largest online shopping mall, is also gearing up to buy and sell securities created by DLJ Direct SFG Securities Inc., a Tokyo-based online brokerage and Rakuten’s subsidiary.
On March 18, Rakuten launched a service to accept applications to open DLJ Direct SFG Securities customer accounts at its virtual shopping mall, which attracts a monthly average of 5 million visitors.
Nexus Co., an Osaka-based marketing service, said March 18 that it had made ties with E*Trade Securities Co., a Tokyo-based online brokerage, to buy and sell securities in the near future.
Nexus officials said the firm is preparing to provide information on securities of E*Trade Securities to the 20,000 members of the Nexus portal site.
But analysts have warned that companies planning to sell securities need to do a lot of homework before launching their new services.
Shoichi Ito, a senior consultant specializing in financial business at Mitsubishi Research Institute, said nonbrokerage firms entering the sector will be required to explain details of the products.