FSA to ease rules separating bank, brokerage business.
TOKYO, March 25 Kyodo The Financial Supervisory Agency (FSA) said
Thursday it will substantially relax regulations that have drawn a clear
line between operations of banks and their brokerage subsidiaries.
Officials of the financial industry watchdog said the steps to ease the
''fire wall'' rules will take effect April 1 as part
of the government's ''Big Bang'' financial
market deregulation. The government introduced the rules in 1993 to
safeguard investors and depositors and prevent banks from using their
strong clout on corporate borrowers for the benefit of their
subsidiaries. The fire wall regulations were introduced when banks were
allowed to enter the securities industry by establishing brokerage
subsidiaries. Under the FSA program, banks' brokerage subsidiaries
will be allowed to lead-manage bond issues by companies doing business
with their parent banks, the officials said. Among other deregulatory
steps, banks and their securities subsidiaries will be allowed to
operate joint branches, and their marketing representatives will be
permitted to jointly visit customers, they said.