Super-fluous banking perks

September 2nd, 2009 by Philip Brasor & Masako Tsubuku

The "super futsu" entry is the fourth line

The “super futsu” entry is the fourth line

The other day I was looking at one of our bank passbooks after some bills were paid and noticed an entry term I’d never noticed before: “super futsu.” It refers to the the type of account, and the entry listed the most recent interest we received for the balance in that account. Futsu means “regular,” so what exactly does “super regular” mean?

Apparently nothing. It’s simply a means of distinguishing a deposit account with Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ’s All One system from a regular passbook deposit account. The interest is the same: 0.05 percent. The difference between the two types of accounts is that with the All One system, they don’t charge a fee unless the balance falls below ¥100,000. The main reason we signed up for All One was so that we wouldn’t have to pay a handling fee when we use TMUFJ ATMs during non-business hours, but we eventually found out that there are still some instances when handling fees apply. The fine print is there to be read — or not.

And as you can see by the photo on the right, the most recent interest payment we received — ¥182 — would mostly be wiped out had we incurred a single handling fee of ¥105 during the appropriate period of time, so I fail to see what’s “super” about this account. You have to remember that 0.05 percent interest means you multiply your balance by 0.0005. And then you have to subtract an additional 20 percent from the result for taxes.

Instead of “super regular” maybe they should call it “super insignificant”; or, more poetically, a susume no namida — tears of a sparrow — account.

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One Response

  1. Really enjoy reading YenForLiving, especially the categories of Banking&Investment and Annals of Cheap. =)
    Hope that you can share more knowledge about banking system in Japan, since foreigners in Japan are really distracted to dig it further because of language barriers.

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