The Japanese parliament has passed a revised Securities and Exchange Law, making it possible for banks to engage in securities agency services from 1 December this year. The revised law was proposed by the Japanese regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA).
Post-war Japan has traditionally reserved securities broking for the securities houses. However, non-securities firms began to conduct agency business in April this year, and banks will now follow suit in December. Because the banks have large branch networks, the FSA expects them to expand massively the number of retail investors active in Japan’s securities markets.