Business / Corporate

Japan's big banks to slash hiring of new graduates in 2020 due to automation and low rates

JIJI

Major lender MUFG Bank plans to hire only 530 new graduates next April, down about 45 percent from this year, according to informed sources.

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. and Mizuho Financial Group Inc. also plan to slash their hiring of new graduates, by about 10 percent and 20 percent respectively, the sources said.

The cutbacks reflect a challenging earnings environment for Japanese banks amid prolonged low interest rates, as well as the progress of information technology-based automation of banking services.

The combined total of new graduates the three major lenders plan to hire at the beginning of the 2020 business years stands at around 1,700, down nearly 30 percent from this year. This is less than one-third of the peak total of some 6,000 new graduates hired at the start of fiscal 2007.

On Monday, the first day of the 2019 business year, 960 new graduates joined MUFG, 667 entered Sumitomo Mitsui and about 700 started working for Mizuho.