Allow me to extend my sincerest appreciation to all of you who have provided your ongoing patronage and support to the Bank of Okinawa, Ltd.
Since its establishment in 1956, the Bank has grown along with the economic development of the region as a mainstay financial institution of the community, and based on its management philosophy of actively contributing to the welfare of the regional community, has built the foundation it has today.
For all of the warm support from so many of you in the community and all of our shareholders over these many years, I offer my deepest appreciation.
During fiscal 2016, the Japanese economy remained on track toward a moderate recovery overall, as evidenced by exports recovering amid the continued moderate growth of overseas economies, an increasing trend for capital investment as corporate earnings remained at a high level, and firm personal spending continuing against the backdrop of steady improvements in the employment and income environment.
Under these circumstances, Okinawa Prefecture is on an expansionary trend due to personal spending and the construction industry being generally robust, as well as continuing favorable movements in the tourism industry.
It is in just such an environment that the role regional financial institutions are looked upon to perform is becoming ever-more important. This includes actively providing investments that fund the growth areas to vitalize the region, and support for the improved productivity of small- and medium-sized businesses and small-scale business operators.
Given this situation, the Bank has formulated and commenced from fiscal 2015, the Medium-Term Business Plan “CHANGE FOR VALUE – Three Years of New Value Creation –,” positioned as three years of customer-focused new value creation. Taking a “customer focused” approach, it embodies operational reforms (change) for a new era, and as that becomes entrenched, offers customer-focused new value creation, leading to the construction of a sustainable new business model. In fiscal 2017, the third and final year of this Medium-Term Business Plan, we are taking steps to achieve our objective of customer-focused new value creation. We will go further with our operational reforms toward achieving a sustainable new business model where our new value can be evaluated by customers and shared as well, and we will use the time generated from improved business efficiency to strengthen our contact with customers from both digital and analog perspectives.
In addition, on March 31, 2017 we acquired a 100% stake in Okinawa Shoken Limited and commenced business on April 3 as part of the Okigin Group. We will provide comprehensive financial services as the sole financial group in the prefecture combining both banking and securities services, and will widely respond to customers’ asset management needs.
As a comprehensive financial services industry that contributes to the advancement of the regional economy, we aim to realize our long-term vision of becoming a bank that works with new concepts and creates new value together with the region’s community.
The Bank of Okinawa is striving for ever-more robust management and to raise levels of service, with all of our officers and employees acting as one, as a People’s Bank that is popular and loved by the region and which consistently meets the expectations of customers.
I ask for all of your continued valued support and patronage.