About Us

 

I . History

 

Originally, member banks were established as joint stock companies under the Sogo Bank Law of 1951 and were referred to as "Sogo Banks". Over the years, however, the types of business conducted by Sogo banks and ordinary commercial banks have become similar, and because of this development, the Sogo banks began in quick succession to convert to regional banks which were classified as ordinary commercial banks from 1989 onward. Traditionally, there were 64 banks which were referred to as "regional banks" in Japan, but due to the conversion of Sogo banks , this number has now doubled. Although the new regional banks carry out exactly the same operations as the original regional banks, their origins differ considerably. As a result, new regional banks have set up their own Second Association of Regional Banks independently of the Regional Banks Association of Japan.

 

II . Role of Member Banks

 

a) Living within the Community

 

As regional financial institutions, the principal mission of member banks is to contribute to the social and economic development of the Japanese regions.To this end, emphasis is placed on meeting the financial needs of local individuals, corporations and public-sector bodies. In fact, as the member banks' approximately 3,100 branch offices, backed by around 45,000 employees, are strategically located throughout Japan, customer needs can be addressed in a very precise and personal manner.

 

b) Responding to Ever-Changing Customer Needs

 

To meet the diversifying financial needs of customers, member banks are striving to develop new financial products and services, as well as making an effort to become better consultants, particularly for individual customers in setting up their life planning. Furthermore, members are focusing on being reliable banks for regional companies and unincorporated businesses by providing active support in regard to both the raising and operating of funds. In addition, member banks have created a management consulting office and customer consulting section to better respond to the various needs of customers for loans, legal matters, taxes, householdexpenses, and other areas.

 

c) Vitalization of Local Communities

 

Member banks actively participate in the development of their local communities. It can easily be seen that member banks have a deep interest in supporting and developing the region. Thus, members contribute to the prosperity of the Japanese regions through a broad range of activities.

 

d) Cooperation to local Finance

 

A contribution to public finance in the regions is made by member banks through their handling of national and local tax collection and the payment of various other public charges. Further, besides cooperating with public financial initiatives of local governments by underwriting bond issues and providing direct financing, member banks also participate in various public projects which boost regional economies and promote the welfare of local residents.

 

III . The Undertakings of Member Banks

 

As financial institutions linked to their communities, member banks are engaged in the following activities for the purpose of regional development and enhancement of their own operations. In doing so, these banks are working to promote region-based Relationship Banking.

 

a) Promotion of unique Region-based Relationship Banking and Sophistication of Service

 

Member banks are working to promote region-based relationship banking and provide high-quality service based on unique business models from the perspective of the customer that match the characteristics of each community.

 

b) Responding to Ever-Changing Customer Needs

 

To meet the diversifying financial needs of customers, member banks are striving to develop new financial products and services, as well as making an effort to become better consultants, particularly for individual customers in setting up their life planning.  Furthermore, members are focusing on being reliable banks for regional companies and unincorporated businesses by providing active support in regard to both the raising and operating of funds.  In addition, member banks have created a management consulting office and customer consulting section to better respond to the various needs of customers for loans, legal matters, taxes, householdexpenses, and other areas.

 

c) Enhancement of Security Measures

 

In order to secure the firm trust of their customers, member banks are enhancing security measures against fraudulent withdrawals of deposits by such means as using forged or stolen ATM cards.

 

d) Facilitation of Finance for Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises

 

As financial reforms progress, our member banks thoroughly recognize the roles expected of regional financial institutions, and they have become more aggressive than ever in undertakings designed to facilitate financing for small- and midium-sized enterprises.

 

IV . Member Banks (Data)

 
Number of Member Banks : 42 (As of March 2012)
 
Number of Branches : 3,129 (As of March 2012)
 
Executives and employees : 45,398 (As of March 2011)
 
Deposits : 59,670 billion yen (As of March 2012)
 
Loans : 44,664 billion yen (As of March 2012)
 

V . The Function of the Association

 
The Second Association of Regional Banks is an incorporated body which aims to further public interests by promoting the sound development of its member banks. Details of the activities it conducts are as follows:
 
  1. Research to improve the business operations of member banks.
  2. Research relating to finance and the economy.
  3. Representing the opinions of member banks to government authorities and other financial institutions and providing liaison between member banks and such bodies.
  4. Management of facilities in order to develop mutual contact and a sense of fraternity between its member banks.
  5. Activities relating to training, seminars and welfare for the employees of member banks.
  6. Support activities relating to business affiliations of member banks, and collaborative activities by member banks to maintain credit in an orderly manner.
 

VI . The Joint systems Managed by the Association

 

Member banks manage the following collaborative systems to provide customers with a variety of network functions.

 

a) Second Association Cash Service (SCS)

 

This service enables withdrawals of deposits and balance inquiries from CDs and ATMs of member banks and partner financial firms throughout the country using a single ATM card. In addition, functions for confirming accounts and transfers when performing ATM transfers using bank card of other banks are also part of this service.

 

b) Second Association Data Transmission Service (SDS)

 

This network service provides transmission of blocks of data between companies and member banks, such as for blanket payments, savings account transfers, and account activity statements. This system contributes to the simplification and efficiency of operations for user companies.

 

c) Centralized operations

 

This is a system by which collections, such as insurance premiums from government finance corporations and organizations, are concentrated from each member bank into one designated member bank, and by which mutual aid funds are remitted in lump sums from the designated bank to the other member banks. This system contributes to the simplification and efficiency of receipt and remittance operations for user companies.

 

d) Second Association Backup Center (SBC)

 

This shared center performs such account activities as ordinary deposits and salary transfers on behalf of member banks when their computer centers have been affected by an earthquake or other disasters. These preparations have been made so as to enable response even in the event of an emergency.

 
 
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