• Kyodo

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Sendai-based 77 Bank said Monday it is considering requesting public funds to replenish its capital so it can better help companies hit by the March 11 disaster.

“As it will take a long time to reconstruct (disaster-stricken areas), we hope we will be able to fully prepare ourselves to fulfill our responsibility,” President Teruhiko Ujiie told reporters in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture.

While its capital adequacy ratio stands at a sufficient level, the bank believes it necessary to get extra funding from the government to meet local financial demand. The bank will likely take advantage of a law set to be revised in the Diet that allows regional banks and other smaller financial institutions to be reinforced against financial turmoil.

The Financial Services Agency plans to encourage financial institutions in disaster-hit areas to file for capital by easing loan application requirements.

Sendai Bank, another regional bank based in Miyagi Prefecture, said Friday that it was also weighing up the benefits of utilizing the government assistance program.

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