December 5, 2019 / 10:55 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Japan's MUFG considers fees on dormant accounts

(Recasts with MUFG comment, adds context, Resona’s fee strategy)

TOKYO, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) is considering fees on various banking services, including dormant ones, a spokeswoman said on Thursday following a report by the Nikkei.

The Nikkei said MUFG was considering a fee that could be 1,200 yen ($11.05) a year on accounts that have not been used for more than two years. It said the fee could take effect from October 2020, adding that other large financial groups could follow suit.

It also said MUFG could raise fees on other banking services, such as foreign exchange.

“It is true that we are considering fee structure on various services. But nothing has been decided yet regarding such fee for maintaining bank accounts,” the MUFG spokeswoman said without offering further details.

As Japanese banks have struggled with the Bank of Japan’s prolonged low interest rates policy and a shrinking population, charging account holders a fee has been a hot topic in the industry as a means of pushing up revenue.

MUFG reported in its latest earnings release that its net interest income fell 3.7% for the six months through September year-on-year.

Resona Holdings Inc, Japan’s fifth largest lender by asset, has had such a fee since 2004 on accounts in which no transactions have been made for more than two years holding less than 10,000 yen. The fee is 1,320 yen a year.

Makoto Takashima, chairman of the Japanese Bankers Association, said at regular press conference in September that imposing such a fee should be discussed separately from monetary policy.

$1 = 108.6400 yen Reporting by Takashi Umekawa; Writing by Elaine Lies; Editing by Edmund Blair and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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