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Banks gearing for prefecture payroll

Date Posted: 1998-07-30

Insiders expect local banks to engage shortly in a mother of all bank battles to lure their share of the prefecture’s payroll into their accounts. Up until now, Okinawa Prefecture has paid all its 25,000 workers’ wages in cash, but a change in the policy allows the prefecture to start paying the wages straight into worker’s saving accounts.

The change has been in the works for as long as three years, but the final decision was made in the prefecture assembly meeting in February.

In practice, a section chief in the prefecture can decide to which bank the wages of his or her section workers would go. It is said that some local banks have established special task forces to persuade the responsible persons to direct the payments into their banks. However, the prefecture has sent the banks letters asking them to refrain from trying to persuade individual prefecture officials in this matter.

The new payment system of wages is scheduled to go into effect in the middle of August, and even though it seems that the banks have heeded the prefecture’s directive for now, it is, as one bank branch manager put is "Silence before the storm."

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