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2008年5月20日 (火)

スラチャイと英語を勉強しましょう!

05/20/2008 --The Asahi Shimbun, May 19(IHT/Asahi: May 20,2008)

EDITORIAL: Banking deregulation

金融規制緩和―銀行の変革力が問われる

The Diet is currently working on amending the Financial Instruments and Exchange Law, which would radically ease regulations concerning the banking business and expand the scope of services that banks are allowed to provide. The government apparently believes that such deregulation will help shore up Japanese banks, which have fallen far behind their U.S. and European rivals in international competitiveness.

 銀行を取り巻く規制を抜本的に見直し、手がけられる業務も思い切って増やす。そうすれば、欧米勢にくらべて大きく見劣りする国際競争力の強化につながるだろう――。

The primary aim of the bill is to sharply lower regulatory walls that have separated the banking and securities businesses throughout the postwar period.

 国会で審議が進む金融商品取引法の改正案の狙いを読み解くと、こんなことになる。

 改正案の第1の柱は、戦後一貫して設けてきた銀行・証券間の業務の「垣根」を大幅に引き下げることだ。

regulatory=調整力をもつ)(securities=株式投資、証券業)

As it stands, the law prohibits banks and their brokerage subsidiaries from sharing directors or exchanging customer information. This rule is designed to prevent various unethical business practices. The system, for instance, keeps banks from putting pressure on its corporate borrowers to buy financial products from their securities affiliates. It also keeps brokerages from exerting pressure on their corporate clients to issue new bonds to raise money so as to pay back their debts to the parent banks.

 親銀行と関連の証券会社との間では、役員の兼任や顧客情報のやり取りが禁じられてきた。銀行が取引先に証券子会社の商品を押し売りするのを避ける。証券子会社が取引先に社債を発行させ、取引先が調達した資金で銀行の融資を返済させるのを防ぐ。そうしたことが目的だ。

As it stands=ご承知のように)(unethical=非論理的な)(brokerages=証券会社、仲介業務、斡旋業者)

exert=力を及ぼす)(bonds=債権、株式債権、社債)(raise money=資金を調達する)

In the United States and Europe, however, it is now common for banks and their securities affiliates to work hand in hand in fully integrated or closely coordinated operations. The government is apparently trying to level the playing field for Japanese banks by diluting the separation of banking and securities dealings. In exchange for deregulation of the banking industry, the bill requires banks to develop and make public their own systems to prevent unfair business practices involving their securities operations. And banks would have to keep improving these systems by having their effectiveness checked constantly by the authorities and independent experts.

 欧米諸国では銀行と証券が一体になって営業したり、業務を密接に連携させたりするのが当たり前になった。日本もそんな業務展開を可能にして、競争条件をそろえようというわけだ。

 代わりに、そうした不正な営業手法を防ぐ仕組みを銀行が自らきちんと整えて公表する。当局や外部のチェックを受けながら改善する。そういう方法へ規制の考え方を改める。

(affiliates=関連会社、子会社)(dilute=薄める、弱める)(In exchange for = の代わりに、代わりに)

The second aim of the bill is to permit banks to diversify their businesses. The present law imposes a 5-percent limit on a bank's stake in a company and a 15-percent ceiling on a banking group's overall shareholding in a firm. These limits on shareholdings make it difficult for banks to expand into investment banking services such as advising on mergers and acquisitions. This restriction would be eased, but only for specified purposes like supporting the revival of a company that would be beneficial for the local economy.

 第2の柱が銀行業務の多様化だ。今は、ある企業の株式を銀行単体で5%まで、銀行グループでも15%までしか持たせない規制がある。M&A(企業の合併・買収)の仲介など投資銀行業務の制約になっている。この規制を緩め、地域経済に貢献する企業の再生などに限定して自由度をひろげる。

diversify=多様化する、多角的にする)(impose=課する、負わす、負わせる)(stake=掛け金、シェア)

mergers and acquisitions=合併吸収、M&A)(revival=回復、再生、蘇生)

The proposed revision would make it easier for Japanese banks to deal with Islamic finance, which prohibits charging interest. Banks would be able to buy facilities and lend them out for fees. The regulatory reform would also pave the way for bank involvement in trading in permits to emit greenhouse gases.

 また、利子を認めないイスラム金融に対応できるよう、銀行が設備を買って取引先へ貸し、手数料を取る業務を認める。温室効果ガスの排出量取引もできるようにする。

Japan's financial crisis a decade ago triggered a massive consolidation of the industry. Despite the radical change in the nation's banking landscape, the principal revenue source for Japanese banks is still retail banking--the mundane business of taking deposits and making loans.

Investment banking and other lucrative securities-related services remain noncore businesses for Japanese banks. Their business portfolios must be changed radically if they are to become more competitive in the global market. Japanese banks should take advantage of this banking deregulation to change fundamentally their corporate cultures that have been nurtured in the business environment defined by a tight web of regulations. They need to enhance their international competitiveness so that they can again make a meaningful contribution to Japan's economic growth and the financial health of Japanese people.

 日本の金融業界は、10年前の金融危機をきっかけに再編され、3メガバンクなど6グループを頂点とする形になった。だが、業務の中心は依然として預金と融資である。収益性の高い投資銀行など証券関連業務は脇役のままだ。ここを変革しないことには、国際競争力をつけることはできない。

 銀行はこれを機会に、規制に縛られる中で染みついた企業風土を根本から変革すべきだ。競争力をつけ、日本の経済発展と生活の安定に再び貢献できるよう脱皮する必要がある。

mundane=平凡な、ありきたりの)(lucrative=もうかる、有利な)(business portfolios=企業風土)(nurtured=育てられる、育てられた)

meaningful=意味のある、意義深い)

At the same time, the subprime credit crisis has prompted serious soul-searching within the world financial community. Some experts are wondering if the financial system has become more vulnerable due to the liberalization of financial industries that has been promoted in other industrialized nations and the sophisticated financial technologies that have been developed in recent years.

 ただ一方では、サブプライム問題を機に、欧米がこれまで進めてきた金融自由化や最新の金融技術について、金融システムを不安定にさせている面もあるのではないか、と反省する動きもでてきている。

soul-searching=自己分析、自己反省)

Japan's banks cannot hope to win respect in the global market simply by following the trail blazed long ago by their Western rivals. The challenge for them is how to build new business models and strategies that reflect lessons from the recent financial turbulence but still put them one step ahead of leading global players. The regulatory change will sorely test the capability of Japanese banks.

 日本の銀行は、欧米の後を一周遅れで単純に追いかけるのでは能がない。反省を生かしながら一歩先を行く事業体制を築けるかどうか。まさに銀行の実力が問われることになる。

blaze=仕事をどんどんやる、燃え上がる)(sorely=痛んで、ひどく)

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 19(IHT/Asahi: May 20,2008)

朝日新聞5月19日号 (英語版 2008年5月20日発行)

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