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Japan's banks shed more than 3,600 workers in record drop

Digitization and reduced hiring result in sharpest decrease since fiscal 2005

More than 70% of Japan's 81 banks lowered staff numbers in fiscal 2018.

TOKYO -- Japanese banks reduced their collective payroll by 3,629 employees in fiscal 2018, researchers have found, with digitization of paperwork and a slowdown in hiring driving the steepest drop in available data.

The total head count came down to 223,778 at the end of March, with declines hitting more than 70% of 81 banks across the country, including major nationwide lenders and regional ones large and small, according to Tokyo Shoko Research. It was the sharpest decline notched in records dating back to fiscal 2005.

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