Editor March 2018

Banking on change

Progress on the march

Cooperation and business opportunities between the UK and Japan in the realm of finance have grown considerably over the past few years, with bilateral deals inked and fintech firms pitching their products and services in each other’s countries.

We take a look at how such activities are expected to expand further, following the roll-out of Open Banking in the UK earlier this year. Widely expected to bring significant changes to the world of retail banking, the initiative is at the forefront of a global trend to free up financial data and put it in the hands of customers.

On the rise?
In Japan, March represents a time when many workers hope to see a different kind of change to their bank account—more money. As the country’s trade unions prepare to engage in shunto—the spring offensive—their hope is that Japanese corporations will share some of their profits with the labour force. Indeed, so will Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who believes that wage increases are key to the continued revival of the economy.

Both workers and the prime minister might well be disappointed, but going in the opposite direction are foreign firms in Japan, who often pay a premium to get their hands on top talent. We take a look at differences and what they might mean for Japanese firms in the future.

Standing together
We are pleased to publish extracts from Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell’s speech to BCCJ members on 16 February. In addition to covering the history of the Scotland–Japan relationship, he also set out what he believes the future holds for the countries post-Brexit.

Then in Community, we have photos from the International Women’s Day event Pledge for Parity.

The story goes on
For those who enjoyed the first part of our BCCJ history, we continue the story, bringing the account of the chamber more or less up to date. Part of the challenge of delving in the BCCJ’s history is the lack of many of the original materials and documents demonstrating its evolution.

However, since publishing part one, a reader has kindly sent in decades-old copies of the BCCJ magazine, which will be the basis of a future BCCJ ACUMEN story. Should you have any materials that could help us shed further light on the chamber’s past, please let us know.