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Japan to relax rules on banks' operating hours

Japan's Financial Services Agency plans to revise rules toallow the lenders more flexibility in accommodating their customers' bankinghours, The Nikkei reported July 16.

The changes, which are expected to be implemented as earlyas August, will free bank branches from the standard 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. operatinghours. The move would allow banks to fit their operating hours to the bankinghours of their customers.

The changes would enable banks to open and close branches ata later time if there is a need to accommodate transactions. They may also optto trim weekday hours to operate at night or during holidays.

Banks had been seeking more flexibility in their operatinghours to better cope with their targeted customers amid Japan's decliningpopulation.