Japan's three biggest banks posted healthy profit figures for last year today (16 May) but also warned that 2012-13 is set to be a challenging period.
The Mitsubishi UFJ, Sumitomo Mitsui and Mizuho groups experienced solid growth in their revenues throughout 2011-12 but the former two anticipate the coming 12 months to be characterised by lower bond gains and write-offs of bad loans.
Mizuho bucked this trend by forecasting its profits will rise in the year ending in March 2013, however this positivity only extended to an anticipated growth of 3.1 per cent on last year to a total level of $6.26 billion.
Weaker domestic demand is causing Japan's economic outlook to deteriorate at present and Chikako Horiuchi, director of financial institutions at Fitch, has indicated this could lead to some banks being downgraded in the near future.
"We want to see whether they can generate solid profits from loans under the current condition of low interest rates," she noted.
By Claire Archer