Japanese Megabanks threaten major job losses based on changing times and profitability

Japanese Megabanks threaten major job losses based on changing times and profitability

Chika Mori and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Megabanks in Japan are threatening major job losses over respective periods of time to offset changing technology, client usage habits, a changing financial market, and the need to boost profitability based on restructuring. However, in a nation like Japan that prides itself on low unemployment, then the reverberations will be felt negatively. In a sense, the new reality for megabanks is following on from the increasing temporary employment reality that altered the working landscape in the favor of business.

The Mizuho Financial Group, Inc., the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, and the Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. have all announced major future job losses. Indeed, in percentage terms for Mizuho and Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ then this could equate to roughly 30 percent of the entire workforce. Hence, other banks will likely follow in the same footsteps even if from a lower base.

Of course, for fresh university students looking to enter the financial sector, then the job losses are remarkably high and will impact negatively. At the same time, for traditional individuals who value the role of local banks then clearly individuals will become more distant from the banks they belong to. However, for individuals who have braced new technology in order to do personal banking then the job losses will make sense. After all, these individuals will be hoping that end users will gain from new restructuring.

Digitization, artificial intelligence, the result of fintech, and other important modern innovations, all equate to changing times. Hence, when this is added to sluggish growth for many megabanks based on endless low-interest rates and the increasing encroachment of nonbank start-up businesses, then restructuring is needed.

Despite this, the percentage of job losses is worrying for a nation that prides itself on low unemployment. Similarly, the role of temporary work contracts, limited perks, impact on pensions, diminishing job security, and other negatives, all point in the direction of a malaise that is all too common in nations like the United Kingdom. Equally, restructuring can also be a great disguise to cover the shortcomings of individuals in the upper echelons of the respective megabanks that are proposing heavy job losses.

Alternatively, from a pro-business point of view, if megabanks don’t respond to changing times then international competitors will gain at the expense of the Japanese financial sector. Also, if streamlining leads to greater efficiency, then established businesses – or new companies – that need capital should be able to obtain providing they meet the respective criteria.

In saying this, the percentage of job losses announced and events over the last few decades all point in a downward spiral in relation to the traditional business ethics that ignited this nation. However, can sentiments and business ethics survive the coldness of modern international business?

Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group

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