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Bank of the Ryukyus 50 years old

Date Posted: 1998-05-09

The largest bank in Okinawa, Bank of the Ryukyus, celebrated its 50th anniversary, May 1. Originally established in 1948 under an ordinance of the U.S. military government for the purpose of "restoring financial order and stabilizing the currency" in order to secure sound post-war development of the Okinawan economy. The bank has been since then an essential part of the islands' financial system and has dedicated itself to promoting the development of the regional economy.

In 1972, when Okinawa was restored to the Japanese sovereignty, the Bank of the Ryukyus become an ordinary Japanese bank subject to local banking laws. As Okinawa's leading bank, it subsequently facilitated the prefecture's shift to Japanese economic and financial systems. In 1983, it became the first Okinawan company to be listed on the Tokyo and Fukuoka exchanges.

With the changing times, the Bank of the Ryukyus is also looking for new ways to improve its services. One of the most convenient is the extended operation time on its automatic teller machines which will be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The bank has 335 such machines, more than any other bank in the prefecture and their number is steadily increasing.

As the liberalization of the nation's banking laws give banks more leeway to compete, the Bank of the Ryukyus is planning to offer higher interest rates for the deposits of their long-standing customers and large deposits. They are also planning to reduce or abolish service charges for such customers, a first among Okinawa's banks.

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