On October 19th, Shinsei Bank announced the establishment of a new fund for overseas students, set up in partnership with its investee Global Trust Networks (GTN), a livelihood support service company for foreign nationals in Japan. The purpose of the new fund is to financially assist new international students, with a capital amounting to one billion yen.
GTN offers several financial support services for about 100,000 foreign nationals residing in Japan, providing support in various areas like apartment lease guaranty, mobile services, and part-time job listings.
Shinsei Bank has been developing several services for foreign residents in Japan in collaboration with GTN since forming a capital alliance this April, and this fund is also part of their collaborative project.
In the official announcement, Shinsei Bank has said it will provide an interest-free school loan through this fund to cover Japanese language school fees for students who are from top Asian universities and are willing to pursue higher education or work in Japan. Those students will be allowed to pay back the loan in installments without interest.
Japanese language schools often ask for full payment of tuition before enrollment, which can pose a big financial burden on foreign students. Now with this support from Shinsei Bank, they would have less cause for concern over their financial situation and it would be easier for them to focus on their work or studies.
In addition to this fund, Shinsei Bank group has been promoting other services for foreign residents in Japan. For instance, they provide an all-English service for individuals who are wishing to open an account, and also one of their subsidiary companies, APLUS, offers a pre-paid Visa card called GAICA for foreign residents.
The number of foreign nationals in Japan is now more than about 2.5 million, accounting for about 2% of the total population. This number is expected to continue growing. Shinsei Bank regards this increase in foreign residents in Japan as a significant opportunity for market segmentation, and is willing to implement and expand other similar services in collaboration with GTN in the future.