Message from President
We would like to express our sincere appreciation to all of you for your continued support of the Hokuhoku Financial Group and its group companies.
In the Company’s primary operating regions, the Hokuriku Shinkansen was launched in March of last year, while the Hokkaido Shinkansen was launched in March of this year. As both areas had previously been blessed with tourism resources, the number of tourists from both outside and within Japan has been on a rising trend. With the launch of the Shinkansen we expect this momentum to accelerate and feel that the conditions are right for a virtuous cycle in both tourism and business. On the other hand, due to the declining birthrate, the ageing of the population, the shift of the population to urban areas and the increasing corporate focus on overseas regions, we forecast that the contraction in the market will continue. Moreover, in addition to rivalry with other local banks, we expect a continuation of the severe operating environment due to competition stemming from the expansion of business by the Japan Post Bank and by internet-only banks, due to the contraction in profit margins in the loan business caused by the quantitative easing policy with negative interest rates and due to lower yields on domestic bonds.
In such an operating environment, the Group began working on its new “BEST for the Region” medium-term management plan in April of this year, focusing on the policies below in order to contribute to the development of regional economies through the stable provision of financial services.
First, we will work on initiatives to develop proposal and service capabilities that exceed our customers’ expectations. Through providing the No.1 regional financial services by strengthening efforts with regard to consulting that matches the customer’s stage of life and assessing business possibilities, and by reinforcing convenience and functionality through building out IT infrastructure, we aim to be a regional financial group that is trusted and chosen by, and that contributes to, both customers and local communities.
Second, in order to achieve sustainable growth for the Group, we will take up the challenge of building out functional and efficient group structures for management and sales. As well as pursuing the benefits to group management of consolidating the administrative and back office operations, we will push ahead with developing retail and service channels that match the changing needs of customers, while making efforts to realize a functional organization that can win out against the competition and to maintain a stable financial base that earns trust from local community.
In addition to reforming itself to deal with the changing environment, by offering financial services rooted in the regions, the Group plays a role in the “Vitalizing Local Economy” program and we strive to be “a financial group that achieves growth and development together with local communities.” We ask for your continued support and patronage.
President Eishin Ihori
Deputy President Masahiro Sasahara