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Mizuho offers new banking products tailored to LGBT people

Mizuho Financial Group, Inc. has started offering financial products tailored toward sexual minorities, including LGBT people, the Mainichi Shimbun has learned.

    The firm's new products include housing loans that can be taken out jointly by same-sex partners, as well as principal guaranteed trust products -- under which assets can be passed on to a same-sex partner. Mizuho Financial Group claims that it is the first company in the industry to offer such services to the LGBT community.

    With consideration toward LGBT people expanding in Japan -- exemplified by an increase in local authorities effectively recognizing same-sex unions -- it is expected that products and services aimed toward LGBT people will continue to emerge.

    On Aug. 25, Mizuho Trust & Banking Co. announced that it will start offering a new financial product called "Eraberu Anshin Shintaku" from the start of next week. Through this product, customers providing funds, whose principal is guaranteed, can be introduced to household chore agencies, as well as nursing homes with benefits. LGBT customers using this product have the option of passing on assets to same-sex partners. Previously, it was only possible for a customer to list relatives as inheritance beneficiaries. Furthermore, before the introduction of such a service, it was troublesome for customers to pass on assets to same-sex partners -- with people having to use methods such as expensive will trusts.

    In July, Mizuho Bank, Ltd. amended its rules regarding housing loans. For two people living together who want to take out a joint-housing loan for residences such as apartments, the bank included same-sex partner under the definition of "spouse." It also did the same in relation to the housing loan screening process, which examines the combined income of both the loan applicant as well as that of his or her family.

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