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SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. is planning to introduce in fiscal 2020 a system that allows employees to work three or four days a week, according to President Yoshihiko Shimizu.

The measure is intended to support workers who need to take care of their parents or other family members, including young children, Shimizu said in a recent interview.

“I hope the system will prevent such employees from leaving the company, and I want them to utilize their valuable care experiences in serving elderly customers,” he said in a recent interview.

Such a move is rare among major Japanese securities companies.

SMBC Nikko, a unit of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc., will also allow employees to work another job on the side and take leave for up to three years, mainly for continuing education, under the theory that it would promote flexible work styles and help with career development.

Employees eligible for the three-day workweek program will be age 40 or over, excluding those in managerial posts, and their pay will be reduced by 40 percent, according to the company. The four-day workweek system will be available to employees age 30 or over, and their salary will be cut by 20 percent.

“It’s necessary to give employees (with care needs) sufficient leave on weekdays for, for example, taking their aged parents living far away to hospitals,” Shimizu said, citing his own care-giving experience.

The securities company also plans to increase the number of employees serving elderly customers to some 200 by the end of March 2021 from the current 35.

SMBC Nikko “will provide a sense of relief” to elderly customers and their relatives, Shimizu said.

The company plans to launch services in the next business year to regularly report the health conditions of elderly customers to their family members living separately and allow relatives of elderly customers to check the status of the clients’ trades with financial institutions.

On overseas operations, Shimizu said SMBC Nikko will soon set up a representative office in Beijing and a business base for affluent customers in Singapore next summer.

“We’ll double our recurring profit (from overseas operations) to ¥20 billion” by fiscal 2022, in part by expanding its stock and bond underwriting business in the United States, Shimizu said.

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