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Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho consider big cutbacks in branches, staff

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Will the public survive without three people helping them at a bank before they even get to the counter: one to point to the door, a second to push a button to give them a number to wait in line and a third to point to the counter when it's their turn?

21 ( +21 / -0 )

The world is leaning towards less human skills and more computerized. Well,cheaper,can work 24/7 and with no complaining,doesn't bode well for the future,does it?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

domtoidi - you forgot the greeter!

At my local branch of Mitsubishi bank, by far the most productive staff member is the security guard, who is also also extremely helpful with straightforward enquiries. I always go to him rather than one of the counter staff.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

This is progress. Anyone whose job is routine will be replaced by software in the near future. And maybe a robot.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Yes, you're right! I lost my mind for a minute. The security guards are the best. It's a schizophrenic balance between looking stern and serious to customers coming in, then polite and smiling to those leaving. It's kabuki!

And thank God we have a few more ladies to point to the ATM and show us how to push the buttons.

And the dance behind the counter is amazing theater. The counter lady hands the plate to the boss lady behind her, who checks everything, then hands it sideways to the boss man, who nods seriously, then hands it back to the boss lady, who hands it back to the counter lady who hands it back to us.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Never seen a security staff at my local branch, they do have one staff standing round to help people.

As for too much staff, better than being laid off as happens right now due to automation, which only increases company profits. Look at the US where shops are closing and people let go by the thousands.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@pacint - Never seen a security staff at my local branch, they do have one staff standing round to help people.

Well, you can be sure that your local branch will be one of the first to close.

I'm all for a better mechanised system of banking in Japan, if this is what these job cuts will mean. At present the ATM networks are a flipping joke! You can't withdraw money from many of the banks after midnight and the closest thing Japan has to 'direct debit' is flipping SUICA card. And, how about all the ATMs being closed for 6-8 days over the Christmas and New Year period? What is that garbage? These practices stopped in the 80's in other 'modern' countries. Banking in Japan really needs a shake up and to be upgraded.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

ATM's in Kanto aren't closed like that anymore. One or two days max. No wonder you're disillusioned... ;)

8 ( +10 / -2 )

I recall wanting to withdraw cash over Golden Week, that was a long time ago.

As was said not anymore. Heck Japan was closed from Dec31-Jan2nd no shops open.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

People talking about security guards, workers to help at the ATMs, or taking a number etc must be going to large branches in large cities. Never see those in this mid size city and the number of tellers at the windows has decreased as more and more people use ATMs or online banking. The ATMs are also NOT closed 6-8 days at year end and it’s been many years since they were. ATMs are also conveniently located at department stores, supermarkets, etc and they are not closed either. Not to mention the ones at convenience stores.

If Mizuho can provide the same or better level of service so be it. As the population is expected to decline it may be that the loss of jobs would have a smaller impact than thought.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@domtoidi - ATM's in Kanto aren't closed like that anymore. One or two days max.

Really? I'm afraid you are wrong! Very wrong! Try getting money out of a Post Office account after midnight. You can't! Then, try getting money out of any account between Christmas and New Year. You can't do that either! Japan does not have 24/7 ATM service! Look it up before you cast aspersions.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

My Mizuho ATM is open till 26:00(after last train).

Combini ATM are open 24/7 and serve most banks, plus secure as in store and filled with CCTV.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

pacintToday 10:18 am JST

My Mizuho ATM is open till 26:00(after last train)."

What time zone is that, I could use those extra 2 hours per day!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

JST, Tokyo.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This should not surprise anyone that lives here. Technology can eliminate these jobs and the banks have always been over-staffed (especially the larger branches).

@disillusioned - I actually withdrew money December 31, 2016 from my MUFJ account in Tokyo. This was during the middle of the day. I am not sure if my case is an anomaly. I do not use nor did I try the Post Office so maybe the private banks are different.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

disillusioned

Bank ATMs are open year-round now (except New Year's Day in many cases) and this article is talking about a bank, not postal savings. Japan's ATMs are the most advanced in the world. Transferring money is easy, paying bills is easy, and just for fun you can even deposit and withdrawn coins at many ATMs! Withdrawal limits at ATMs are probably the highest in the world (used to be able to withdraw 1 or 2 million yen in cash until 9-11 happened) now it's only 200,000-500,000 yen depending on the bank.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Agreed, serendipitous. The services offered at Japanese ATM's have always been great, actually best in the world.

Japanese banks are such a dichotomy - inconvenient people-based services, but convenient automated services.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The number of people at any given bank this was an easy call. Computers have replaced most people at banks outside Japan

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I never go to a branch for anything, so they could fire them all for all I care. Mizuho has too many scandals to even come into consideration in the first place.

My main bank is one that doesn’t even have a bricks and mortar branch. I have a token presence with one of the other two mega banks for the few services that my net bank doesn’t offer.

Don't worry about the staff getting fired though, because Abenomics is a roaring success and creating new high paying jobs all the time. Can’t be hard to find something more productive to do than staffing a bank branch.

No one will case about ATM hours soon either, once we are all settling in bitcoins.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Sometimes I wonder where some people here live or maybe they are time travelers...?

You can take out money from any conveni today 24/7 and 365 days a year incl NYE and other holidays , some banks with no fees either.

Debit cards exist in Japan, and not just suica, you have ID you have Visa and so on...

Withdrawal limits can be easily changed, ask your bank ( or even online )

Stuff reduction.. well I hope they dont overdo it, because my shinsei is great online but almost no branches exist anymore so quick debit card reissue can be a bit of pain.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japanese ATM most advanced in the world ? What a joke.

You cannot deposit coins.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Anyone whose job is routine will be replaced by software in the near future. And maybe a robot. probably half Japans workforce, if not a robot cheap foreign workers

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Both of my banks offer 24/7 banking INCLUDING holidays and ATMs withdrawal readily available at 7-11's (which are virtually everywhere) and other combini ATMs.  The other night had to run out at 3am to get some cash and didn't have an issue.

Don't know about other parts in Japan, but also have visa branded debit cards with my banks.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Try getting money out of a Post Office account 

Don’t expect good service from a government affiliated organization. Apologies if you are in the inaka and the PO is your only option.

now it's only 200,000-500,000 yen depending on the bank.

More than enough for law-abiding citizens!

I know I can adjust my withdrawal limits online - so there may not even be this restriction at all.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Okay, where and why are ATM's in another country better than in Japan?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Okay, where and why are ATM's in another country better than in Japan?

Oops... someone clearly hit a nerve.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Jonathon Prin,

”You cannot deposit coins.”

I have deposited coins into my Japan Post Bank account via the ATM located at a tiny branch many times. ATMs are being continuously updated and replaced but not all ATMs at all locations for all banks have all functions. Conversely, just because you haven’t found a particular function at whatever ATM you visited doesn’t necessarily extend to that function being “unavailable in Japan.”

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Many Mizuho ATM allow coin deposits, often use it to lighten my Wallet when the Coins build up?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Haha. No, didn't hit a nerve at all. I'm just curious. The people saying Japanese ATM's suck must have experience in a country of better ATM's. I want to know where that is and why the services are better.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Readers, please stay on topic.

In 20 years I have gotten about 10 bucks in interest from Mizuho.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Mizuho considers cutting 19,000 employees in Japan, abroad over 10 years

I would say a more accurate headline looking back in a few years will be "Mizuho considers cutting 19,000 clerical and management employees to upgrade the online banking to world standards. Will hire 20,000 more IT staff and relocate their HQ to Gunma (IT workers prefer a better lifestyle than commuting on trains.)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Domtoidi: ATMs won’t help the industry or the people being laid off by Mizuho, and more are coming (layoffs). As to Japanese ATMs brig great, the ONLY atms that are any good in Japan are those of International conglomerate 7-Holdings. No other ATM in Japan allows you to withdraw money from a foreign bank account, and most still won’t let you use foreign credit cards. Bank doors are closed not long after service hours and shuttered, making them unusable. You can do only local wire transfers unless through a third-party device like Go-Lloyds. In most other counties you can access international accounts through your regular bank cards. Not here (except 7-11). I cant tell you how many times I’ve seen panicked tourists looking for an ATM that says “Visa” and doesn’t mean Japanese Visa since their cards wont work, or that has English guidance that works.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

US fires a lot of workers but on average it has a very low rate of unemployment, compared to europe, except in very bad crises. That's sign of an efficient labor market (which leftists abhor). Japan should learn this as number 1 lesson in its economic reform, if it is ever serious about it.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

No surprises. Where I am more and more people use the internet or their smartphone to do their banking. Functionality is increasing. There's not much I can't do with my phone. Over the counter transactions in branch are decreasing and as such there are fewer staff in your average bank branch these days.

Japan too I imagine there are fewer over the counter transactions than days gone by, meaning fewer staff required.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

utter nonsense, looks like the article was written by someone paid by the banks, banks are suffering from the low interest rates, how about the general public that has been and continues to be shafted with almost zero interest on savings for years and

deducted 108yen for withdrawals on weekends and after certain hours during the days some as early as 6 pm. banks have been pampered by the government and propped up instead of being allowed to fold in the guise financial stability and this has resulted in gross inefficiency by the banks.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Pacint -My Mizuho ATM is open till 26:00(after last train).

Nan Ferra - What time zone is that, I could use those extra 2 hours per day!

Pacint - JST, Tokyo.

When did they switch to the 48-hour clock?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Will hire 20,000 more IT staff 

doubt it would be so many, but most will be hired in China anyway.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

DisillusionedToday  10:11 am JST

Really? I'm afraid you are wrong! Very wrong! Try getting money out of a Post Office account after midnight. You can't! Then, try getting money out of any account between Christmas and New Year. You can't do that either! Japan does not have 24/7 ATM service! Look it up before you cast aspersions.

! You can't withdraw money from many of the banks after midnight and the closest thing Japan has to 'direct debit' is flipping SUICA card.

I don't know which country you live in but does not sound like Japan to me. At least in Kanto region, none of the above are true! (Note: if your Post Office account is not working, CHANGE YOUR BANK!)

I can withdraw money from my bank account at anytime, it is never closed. After midnight, New Years, Golden Week, anytime OK without any fees. I can also do the same overseas without any fees. On top of that, I have gotten a debit card for the wife and she uses it all the time and it works exactly the same way as debit cards in my own country. So at least I cannot understand at all what you are complaining about,

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@fxgai

"Don’t expect good service from a government affiliated organization."

The worst, most inefficient bureaucracy I've ever experienced is at my private-sector bank, MUFG. 4 hours to set up an internet account, and 10 forms to sign. Tedious and aggravating.

The best financial-services experience I've had is with my local "government affiliated" pension office. Fast, polite, helpful.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Many more job losses to come in the banking sector as Japan Bank Inc enters the 21st C.

So many peoplo employed to do basically twaddly.

eg:

To send money to Australia thru my bank in Japan (I don't do now) requires me to go to the Head Office in my mid-size city to the 2nd floor "international section" which employs heaps of people, and go thru a myriad of hoops & nooses.

To send money to Japan thru my bank in Aust. requires me to go  to any suburban branch, fill out a very basic form, go to the ordinary teller and he/she will do it in moments. Of course it must be verified somewhere else in the process, but it is so simple that the reciprocal experience in Japan is embarrassing.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It’s a full scale show. Walk in and an age 60 male greets you. He’s also watching which ATM is available and gestures to the smartphone browsing person in line who’s not paying attention to proceed.

Step in to the waiting area, woman age 55 asks what transaction you have in mind, whispers to another age 50 female your answer, both look at you, first woman returns and asks if you have a hanko, gives you a form to fill out, pushes a button and gives you a number and gestures for you to take a seat.

Your number is called as you receive an apology for the long wait and you explain what you’d like to do to a woman age 35. She calls her male manager age 55 over and both look at your documents pensively. He nods to convey some sort of generosity. Female teller gives you a number and asks you to take a seat. Apologizes for causing you to wait when you’re recalled and finishes the transaction.

All chime in and express their gratitude for your patronage as you walk out. Male 60 greeter now has an orange paint ball in his palm ready to throw and tag any would be robbers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

you explain what you’d like to do to a woman aged 35.

A comma would work wonders somewhere here....

4 ( +4 / -0 )

as a bank there really is no excuse not to be profitable. The law is set up so you can legally screw your clients. It is almost impossible not to be successful I do not see how this can happen

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Jonathan Prin

Wanna bet? Not at all ATMs (Shinsei's don't accept coins I believe) but most do.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I reckon the red tape in banking in Japan was thru the U.S.'s pressure for sure.And this was before the dotard took office too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Staff get cut back, but the overly cumbersome procedures remain the same, so the wait times become longer, frustration levels rise, and the Service rapidly gets worse, so much so, that you quickly begin to appreciate the benefits of those semi-non-Japanese Banks - such as the now gone Citibank, and it's rival Shinsei Bank.

Rather than cut back staff immediately, they should look upon their own internal processes and streamline those in order to produce a better Service, and then reduce staff either through reallocation or as may be the case forced redundancy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It’s a full scale show. Walk in and an age 60 male greets you...

This might not have been the point you wanted to make, but note that only one person under 50 even has a job at this bank at all. All those people lucky enough to be born into the right generation got jobs, and everyone younger than they are were left fighting for just one job. And now with these announced job cuts, 20-year-olds will have no jobs at this bank to fight over.

I see that banks are inefficient and overstaffed. but they're also a microcosm for the generational theft that should probably be causing even more social division than it is.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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