JCP makes UFJ Bank revise its manual to crush out SMBs

The Japanese Communist Party's argument in parliament has proven effective to force the UFJ bank, one of Japan's four major banks, rewrite its in-house manual used to force borrowers to accept increase in the lending interest rate.

In reply to JCP Sasaki Kensho, at the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Affairs meeting on November 15, UFJ Bank President Teranishi Masashi said (as an unsworn witness) that the bank is now moving ahead to revise the manual.

The controversial manual revealed on November 6 by JCP Chair Shii Kazuo at a one-on-one debate with Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro showed that Koizumi's policy of early disposal of bad loans is creating new bad loans and bankruptcies, especially of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The manual specified that if borrowers did not accept an increase in interest rates, the bank would not hesitate to dissolve contracts even with sound SMBs.

JCP Sasaki at the Lower House committee pressed the UFJ president to revise the manual. President Teranishi expressed the bank's intention to change the manual and promised not to forcibly collect debts. (end)