TOKYO -- Japan Post Bank in October will start charging customers for transferring money between accounts at the bank for the first time in nine years, seeking to bolster profits squeezed by negative interest rates.
The bank will allow three free transfers per month, with users required to pay 123 yen ($1.22) per transfer thereafter.
A 120 yen fee for sending money between Japan Post accounts was scrapped in October 2007, when the company was privatized, in a bid to lure customers from big banks. But the Bank of Japan's negative interest rate policy has sent Japanese government bond yields plunging, denting investment profits, Japan Post Bank's main source of earnings.
With net profit expected to sink 8% to 300 billion yen this fiscal year, the bank is being forced to find other ways to make money, such as selling mutual funds and charging for previously free services. The transfer fee will likely boost annual profits by hundreds of millions of yen.