The Financial Services Agency is planning a new category of financial intermediary that will sells products across multiple fields, such as insurance, banking and investment trusts. The intermediary will be independent and unaffiliated to any financial institution and it will conduct business online.
The regulator aims to introduce the new form of financial intermediary in 2021, reported the Nihon Keizai Shimbun. To effect this, a Bill will be submitted to the parliament this spring and is set to be passed in the summer of 2021.
This initiative is part of moves by the government to ease regulations and encourage the growth of FinTech. The proposed financial intermediary service will also be designed to allow customers to compare and contrast financial products easily and make online purchases smoothly.
Currently, customers are required to register for services separately in each different sector, such as banking and insurance.
At present, there are almost no services that allow one-stop comparison of different types of financial products such as loans, investment trusts, and insurance. In addition, there are few services that allow customers to compare products of the same genre, such as mortgage interest rates, investment trust fees, insurance premiums, and so on.
According to government data, only four companies have registered and licensed brokers in all three fields—banking, securities and insurance. Considering that Japan has 73 banking agents, 893 financial product intermediaries, and 85,622 life insurance agents, this is a small proportion, reported the online service Livedoor.
For a financial institution that wants to maintain its existing sales network, the new brokerage service can be a disruptive force. However, it can also widen the door to financial services and attract consumers who have never been involved in investment.