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What do you think of the Japanese banking system?


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Outdated, inconvenient, and horribly inefficient.

9 ( +11 / -3 )


Unless you can get time off from work to go to the bank, you have to pay the after hours charge, to use the bloody ATM.

Just about everything you want to do takes time. Going to the counter to get money out means that your money has to be passed around on a tray to 2 or 3 people.

Almost everything is still paper-based, which is stupid.

The continued use of the dumb inkan is annoying.

11 ( +14 / -4 )

Very primitive. Even if you own your home free and clear you can't borrow money against it to start or expand a business. It leaves tens of trillions of yen unnecessarily tied up in home equity instead of contributing to economic growth.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Probie, that is a secret plot to force all men to get married, so their wives can do their banking for them.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Ahhh Peter ! Always been searching for a reason without success, everything makes sense now !!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One of the first countries to get ATMs.

One of the last to have 24hr ATMs.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Everything everyone above said. Plus

The continued use of the dumb inkan is annoying

When I first got here, and tried to open a bank account, they told me I needed this inkan thing. I had no idea what they were talking about beyond the gyst of it, so I shook my head disbelievingly and went to the toy shop down the road and had a kitty chan stamp made with kittys face and my first name only in katakana.

The bank accepted it and I still use it to this day.

Oh, and I also got to keep the plastic biro with the Mickey Mouse ears on top as a "reward" for opening the account with them! So whats to complain about.....?! :-/

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Agree, all quite inconvenient relative to other places in the world. Banks close at 3pm, all visits usually end up taking much longer than they should, reasons for international transfers, incredibly uncompetitive international transfer fees, non-existent savings account interest, atrocious interface for linked credit card and savings accounts, deficiencies in online banking, pointless bankbook, over-reliance on hard cash.

Overseas I would go to the bank maybe once a year, in Japan I find myself going once a month or more Urgh

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Pretty indicative of Japan in general:





Incredibly Polite and Genki

8 ( +7 / -0 )

One of the most horrible places I have ever been.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I had the most frustrating experience with these Japanese banks. I went to three big different banks and they wouldn't allow me to open an account because I can't speak Japanese. Of all the crazy reasons!... at least for me.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Tried to change Scottish pounds before and they said they could only do English pounds. They had no idea what Scottish pounds were. They needed a week to order them from Tokyo. This was at UFJ too. What does that tell you???

They love to make things difficult.

5 ( +4 / -0 )

40 minutes to do an international money transfer every time, and that's with forms they've pre-made specially for my account. Beggers belief.

4 ( +4 / -0 )


I've had Scottish pounds turned down in London. They're not very well known south of Manchester.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

One of the most horrible places I have ever been.

I could suggest you try a random branch of HSBC in Hong Kong. They started closing down a lot of branches there - a dream come true for all the JT commenters who take Japanese "overstaffing" so personally - so that there were fewer branches available, and longer queues to get service. Near my office, it would be common to have a 40-minute standing wait. I also sometimes used the only branch on one of the outlying islands: they switched it to opening three days a week. Inevitable result: very, very busy.

Clearly, that sort of thing is strictly for plebs, so HSBC has a three-tier banking service. A standard account means you get Ryanair quality of service, but for people with serious funds behind them, there is HSBC Advance and HSBC Premier. Lovely concept.

Here I find banks (I've been a member of at least eight) a bit more comfortable and pleasant to use - at least a chance of sitting down for my long wait - and they don't seem to go in for the deceptive charging systems that have become normal practice in Britain and elsewhere. When I lodge my funds with a Japanese bank, they don't try to find ways of chipping at them without my knowledge or consent.

Despite all the complaints upthread - not one positive comment so far - that counts for something.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

What do you think of the Japanese banking system?

Not much.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

the fact that ATMs close.. what a joke.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I always thought Japan was technology land... till I came to Japan and had to deal with their dinosaur banking system.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Like everything here it takes time. At least we aren't charged for keeping money in the bank as they do in Australia........

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think that it is the one that Japan uses and I use it everyday without any problems. There are a lot of tings that could be better in the world. When moving to Japan, I never gave a thought to what should be changed and I still don't. Enjoy living here and if a time comes that I don't enjoy it, I will leave. Many things have been changed in America and not all have been good. Banks have always handled the winning hand and continue to.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

never had a problem, online banking (and mobile) works like a charm for all the major banks (UFJ, Mizuho, SMBC, Shinsei) and Citibank is free for me to wire anywhere in the world (any ATM is free to use as well). The ATM's are some of the most advanced in the world, but I just use the 7Eleven ones these days. Last time I walked into a bank was 2010 to ask a question.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I went to Citibank the other day to find out about international banking. They told me although they are Citibank, Citibank Japan is separate from the rest of the world and they cant set up international banking for me. If you set up Citibank OUTSIDE Japan they can do it. But not from inside.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

A million times better when you have online banking, no exaggeration. Without online banking, it only loses to going to the town hall in the top two of "ridiculously outdated and inefficient Japan"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm not convinced it was really a four-man job to line up and thank me for taking all my money out of the ATM this afternoon.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I try not to go too often as its pretty annoying. However, when I do, I always find the woman running around behind the counter like a headless chicken, with a piece of paper in her hand, quite amusing. Look out for her, every branch has one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@pointofview: They were right not to accept your Scottish Banknotes. They are not legal tender anywhere - even in Scotland. A shopkepper may choose (very unlikely though) to decline their use even IN Scotland!

Banking system here? Just bank at Citibank, no paper, online only. All in English, up to 35 registered payees, domestic and overseas. Competitive FX rates. Not been to my branch in 5 years. As pointed out above..the Seven Bank ATM's are so good you can even do your transfers from there.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The bank staff always make me think of the phrase "a nation of children playing at being adults"!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

When it comes to overseas remittances etc., they are totally useless and have no knowledge how the Global system works.

Some time ago, I had a non Japanese friend living in Japan who went to Canada for a short trip. He was running short of money so he went to a Canadian bank and arranged with them to accept a money transfer on his behalf and on their account. I went to arrange the money transfer by T/T and or bank refused to send it even though it was the legitimate Canadian bank account. Recently, my friend in NZ sent a T/T payment to me for my car which he sold. Bank tried to charge a Yen 4,000 bank fee because they claimed it was business. In the end we finally had them accept that it was private and the fee came down to Yen2,500 which is the same amount we have always been charged for business transactions over the last 20 years. It is only in recent times that you could even do internet banking. Even now as far as I know, you can't organise an overseas telegraphic transfer online as you can in other civilised countries. And people think that Japan is an advanced country !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nothing but trouble. Stay away from Sumitomo at all costs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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