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 the first half of fiscal 2018, the Japanese economy saw a continuous moderate recovery, as evidenced by an increase in capital investment due to improved corporate earnings and recovery in personal spending against the backdrop of steady improvements in the employment and income environment.
Okinawa Prefecture remained on an expansionary trend in general due to personal spending and the construction industry being robust, as well as continuing favorable movements in the tourism industry.
Under these circumstances, regional financial institutions are surrounded by a rapidly changing environment in which integration among regional financial institutions gained momentum against the backdrop of the Bank of Japan’s introduction of negative interest rates and low interest rate market environment. Accordingly, business environment continues to remain harsh, with 70% of the regional banking sector having posted decreased profit for the interim period ended September 2018.
On the other hand, the role regional financial institutions are looked upon to perform is becoming ever-more important. This includes initiatives for regional revitalization, contributions to the formation of high-quality customer assets, and support for the improved productivity of small- and medium-sized businesses and small-scale business operators.
Given this situation, the Bank formulated the 18th Medium-Term Business Plan “HAND IN HAND WITH CUSTOMERS – Create the Future –,” starting from fiscal 2018. Under the new Medium-Term Business Plan, we will strive to create the future together with customers under four basic strategies: 1) display of comprehensive capabilities; 2) creation of shared value; 3) management resource allocation; and 4) work style reform. With all the strength of the Okigin Group, we will provide products and services based on customer-focused new concepts and move on to a stage where we will create the future together with the region’s community.
Furthermore, as part of the vision of the new Medium-Term Business Plan, we aspire to become the No. 1 bank in the region that grows in tandem with the community, improving customer convenience through ICT digital transformation and realizing excellent customer experience by fusing the digital with the analog (Face to Face). In addition, 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 provider that contributes to the advancement of the regional economy, we will work thinking out of the box.
The Bank of Okinawa is striving for ever-more robust management and higher quality of service, with all of our officers and employees acting as one, as a People’s Bank that is loved by the region and consistently meets the expectations of customers.
I ask for all of your continued valued support and patronage.