Corporate Social Responsibility
SMBC is undertaking an initiative to apply research into iPS cells for the benefit of society through the commercialization of the research results. In a process created by Professor Shinya Yamanaka and his colleagues at Kyoto University in 2006, iPS cells are a new kind of stem cell based on reprogramming of human adult cells and hold out high promise in areas such as a regenerative medicine, new drug development and pathology. With the goal of realizing practical social benefits from this research, in June 2008 SMBC teamed up with Kyoto University, Daiwa Securities Group Inc., NIF SMBC Ventures Co., Ltd. (now split into Daiwa Corporate Investment Co., Ltd. and SMBC Venture Capital Co., Ltd.) to set up the preparatory company iPS Holdings and iPS Academia Japan, Inc., which handles intellectual property management and applications. Through its multifaceted support for these two companies, SMBC aims to help commercialize the successes of iPS cell research.
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http://www.smfg.co.jp/responsibility/community/mainprofession/ (Japanese page)
http://www.smfg.co.jp/responsibility/issue/other/ (Japanese page)
The aging of Japan’s population exceeds that of all other nations, while at the same time, lifestyles continue to become more diverse. Because of these two factors, in the future we believe that we will have to provide services that take the needs of many different types of customers carefully into consideration.
In the 1990s SMBC introduced ATMs designed for the visually impaired, and in 2006 the Bank opened a barrier-free model branch office at Chigasaki in Kanagawa Prefecture. Various other steps were also taken to make SMBC’s branches easier to use for the aged and people with disabilities, including the introduction of numbering displays for electronic queuing (EQ). In addition to addressing the issue with equipment improvements, we have also been making improvements to our customer service methods. These include the stationing of qualified Service Care Attendants to all our branches, to ensure all customers’ needs are met. As of March 2010, over 1,200 SMBC staff had received this qualification. To enhance the level of customer service provided by employees without this qualification, we have also held a series of awareness-raising sessions in which employees personally experience some of the difficulties encountered by our more elderly customers, as well as the hands-on experience using wheelchair. From here onward, we will continue to study ways of incorporating the concepts of universal design and service into our financial products and services.
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