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2008年12月30日 (火)

公的資金注入 融資力回復のため積極活用を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 30, 2008)

Use govt safety net to keep credit flowing

公的資金注入 融資力回復のため積極活用を(1230日付・読売社説)

There is a growing concern that regional financial institutions will make little use of a system to inject public funds into them after the revised Financial Function Strengthening Law came into effect this month.

 地域金融機関に対する公的資金注入が、ほとんど活用されない心配が強まっている。

In Japan's financial circles, there is a strong sentiment that smaller regional institutions can lend sufficiently without the injection of public funds. This may stem from fear of intervention by the Financial Services Agency after the injection of public funds and the management of such institutions being held responsible by the FSA for any problems.

 金融界には公的資金なしでも十分な融資ができるとの声が強い。注入後に金融庁が介入し、責任を問われるのを恐れているからだろう。

The financial picture in provincial areas should not be thrown into disarray by the defensiveness of the management of regional lenders. Financial crisis should be avoided by effectively using the safety net.

 金融機関の経営陣の保身で地域金融に機能不全を起こしてはなるまい。「安全網」を有効に使い、金融不況を防がねばならない。

The original provisions of the Financial Function Strengthening Law that enabled the central government to inject public funds into small and midsize financial institutions as a preventive measure to bolster capital strength, expired in March. But with the enactment of the revised law, the system for providing public funds to banks has been revived temporarily, and will be in effect until March 2012. The limit on the amount of money that can be given to financial institutions was raised from 2 trillion yen to 12 trillion yen, an amount almost equal to that injected into financial institutions in the past, including the bailout of the major banks after the burst of the bubble economy.

 改正金融機能強化法が今月に施行され、今年3月末で期限が切れた地方銀行などへの公的資金注入が、2012年3月末までの期限付きで復活した。注入枠も10兆円を追加して12兆円とした。これは、大手行への一斉注入など過去の全注入額に匹敵する。

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Cutting off the credit flow

Firms in rural areas and small and midsize companies complain the financial faucet suddenly has been turned off. Many bankruptcies have resulted from the financing provided by regional institutions drying up.

 地方や中小企業からは、融資の蛇口が急速に絞られてきたとの声が上がっている。融資打ち切りが引き金となった倒産も多い。

According to half-year earning reports ending in September, about one-third of regional banks were in the red. The economic downturn has been accelerating further in the latter half of the fiscal year. Doubtless their equity capital decreased due to an increase in nonperforming loans and losses caused by falling stock prices, and as a result, they have further lost their reserve power for financing.

 9月中間決算で地方銀行の3分の1が赤字だった。下半期はさらに景気悪化が加速している。不良債権の増加や株安の損失で自己資本が目減りし、融資余力がさらに落ちたのは間違いあるまい。

Although small and midsize financial institutions have an increased need for capital reinforcement, it is currently difficult for them to raise capital by themselves. It is under precisely such circumstances that public funds have a role to play.

 資本増強の必要性が高まっているのに、中小金融機関が自力で資本調達をするのは難しい状況だ。こうした時こそ、公的資金の出番と言えよう。

However, no financial institutions have yet applied for public funds. Even under the expired Financial Function Strengthening Law that limited such use of public funds to 2 trillion yen, there were only two applications totaling 40 billion yen.

 ところが、公的資金の注入を表明した金融機関はまだない。3月までの制度でも、2兆円の注入枠を用意したのに、利用は2件、計400億円と低調だった。

In the draft of the revised law, the clarification of the management's responsibility was excluded to try to promote the use of the system, but later, the content of the draft was changed to allow authorities to hold management responsible for mistakes.

 改正法は当初、経営責任明確化の条件を外し、利用促進を図る内容だったが、経営ミスについては責任を問えるよう改めた。

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Errors have consequences

Some claim that such a provision in the law discourages institutions from seeking help. But the program is not intended to rescue failed financial institutions, such as Shinginko Tokyo, a bank primarily owned by the Tokyo metropolitan government.

 これでは利用が減ってしまうとの見方もある。だが、公的資金は新銀行東京など経営に失敗した金融機関を救済するために投入するのではない。

Financial institutions indispensable to an area's economy are responsible for supporting the local economy by providing credit. If their financial wherewithal becomes insufficient to fulfill this responsibility, they should seek public funds without hesitation to enable them to recover their power for financing.

 地域経済に欠かせぬ金融機関には、金融で地元経済を支える責務がある。それを十分に果たせぬ財務内容になった場合には、迷わず公的資金の受け入れを決断し、融資余力を回復させるべきだ。

There are many financial institutions that deny there is a credit crunch, saying that they are making necessary loans. If so, they should voluntarily make public how they contribute to the local economy, including their provision of finances to small and midsize companies and future plans to make such loans.

 「必要な融資はしている」などと、貸し渋りを否定する金融機関は多い。そうであれば、中小企業向け融資の実績や今後の計画など、地元経済への貢献度について、進んで開示すべきであろう。

With the revision of the law, even in the case of a merger that integrates a financial institution in a bad shape with another financial institution, the resulting entity can avoid lowering its capital adequacy ratio with the injection of public funds.

 今回の改正で、財務内容の悪い金融機関と合併・統合した場合でも、公的資金で自己資本比率の低下を防げるようになった。

We hope that the revised law will add momentum to the reorganization of the financial community in a bid to drastically reinforce sound management.

 抜本的な経営強化に向け、再編機運が高まるよう期待する。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 30, 2008)

200812300133  読売新聞)

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