Japan’s Financial Services Agency on Wednesday called for financial institutions to improve their support for older people who have difficulties with financial transactions due to deteriorating cognitive abilities.
A draft report that included the measure was presented to a meeting of a working group for the Financial System Council on the same day.
The number of older people with deteriorating cognitive abilities who struggle to make financial transactions, including withdrawing deposits and visiting bank counters, is increasing.
There are many cases in which financial institutions reject requests for deposit withdrawals by relatives and public officials claiming to be doing so on the behalf of older people on the grounds that the consent of the account holders cannot be confirmed.
In the draft report, the FSA said that financial institutions should remain flexible, such as by allowing people with deteriorating cognitive abilities and their representatives to withdraw money if it is clear that the funds will be used for the account holders, especially for medical and nursing care services.
The FSA called on financial institutions, local governments and welfare workers to cooperate to protect the rights of such people and help them manage their assets.
The agency also plans to revise its guidelines for financial institutions’ customer-first operations. The revised guidelines would encourage the use of new documentation that provides information that makes it easier for people to compare fees for investment trust funds and assess other risks.
The FSA will also strengthen its supervision of financial institutions’ operations related to investment solicitation following the revelation of improper sales of Kampo insurance products by Japan Post Insurance Co. .