Sophia University

News PRESS RELEASE

Sophia University and Aozora Bank to Launch Joint Research Project in Field of "Financial Gerontology"

Tokyo July 10, 2019 - Aozora Bank, Ltd. (President and CEO: Shinsuke Baba; Head Office: Tokyo) ("Aozora" or "the Bank") and Sophia University (President: Yoshiaki Terumichi; Tokyo) today announced their intent to launch a joint research project with a focus on financial gerontology. 

Financial gerontology is a relatively new academic discipline that examines the economic challenges associated with aging and the post-retirement generation's approach to asset management. Research findings are expected to provide additional insights into the state of financial services in Japan, one of the world's most rapidly aging countries.

This joint research project is a result of discussions and complementary interests between Aozora, which has had a long-standing focus on asset management consulting for senior customers and recognizes the challenges posed by an aging society, and the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Human Sciences of Sophia University, which is pursuing a deeper understanding of geriatric psychology from the perspective of clinical psychology.

The results of this research are expected to assist Aozora in further improving the quality of its retail banking services directed towards its mass-affluent senior generation customers as part of Aozora's customer-oriented business management strategy. The research is expected to enable Sophia to lay the groundwork for a research program examining safer and happier retirement lifestyles for the senior generation by studying how the Bank responds to its senior customers.

Press Release (PDF)(304.64 KB)

Joint Research Summary

■Research Subject
A study into the effectiveness of financial services offered to seniors from the perspective of financial gerontology

■Research Overview
1.Basic Research (intervention)
Sophia University and Aozora will jointly develop a training program regarding financial services for senior customers with a focus on asset management consulting through a simulated senior experience.

2. Applied Research (intervention method, effectiveness)
In order to validate the effectiveness of the training program developed in the basic research phase, we will evaluate how the research has contributed to improved customer satisfaction of the services offered to senior customers by the Aozora employees participating in the program. We will continue to redesign more effective training programs by repeating the basic and applied research steps.

We will also consider sharing any findings or training programs that proved effective in raising senior customer satisfaction with other financial institutions and industries that provide services to the senior generation.

Financial Gerontology

Financial gerontology is a multidisciplinary area of academic study that combines gerontology, the study of old age and the process of aging, with finance, and includes the fields of medicine, biology, psychology and sociology.

It is an especially crucial area of study for a country like Japan, where the ageing population produces ongoing challenges such as longer life-spans, aging assets, and extended asset life that can only be overcome through the active collection and proper utilization of research data.

Professors in Charge of Research (Sophia University)

Name

Title/Field of Study

Osamu Matsuda

Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Human Sciences

Field of Expertise: Geriatric Psychology, Clinical Psychology

Noriko Arai

Professor, Department of Management, Faculty of Economics

Field of Expertise: Consumer Behavior Analysis, Marketing

Other Sophia University and Aozora Bank Collaboration Projects

Aozora relocated its Head Office to the Sophia Tower inside the Sophia University campus in May 2017. In addition to this joint research, the Bank and the university are collaborating on various projects such as the joint research "Aozora-Sophia Senior Consumption Trend Index" and the joint banking seminar with the Faculty of Economics.

Joint Research"Aozora-Sophia Senior Consumption Trend Index"

We conduct a monthly survey on the trends and consumer confidence of seniors in Japan, which is experiencing an aging population, and release the index to the public. The research project began in February 2017 with the aim of serving as a reference of senior market trends for various industries targeting the senior generation.

Coordinated Course "Basic Banking Seminar"

Officers and employees of the Aozora Bank Group make use of their abundant experience and hands-on expertise to offer practical lectures on finance. The course was developed to support students at Sophia University, known for its highly globalized education, to improve their financial literacy.
In addition, Aozora offers an experience based learning internship program for Sophia University students.


Media Contact

Aozora Bank:
Atsuhiko Goto, Business Strategy Division 03-6752-1217

Sophia University:
Osamu Matsuda, Faculty of Human Sciences
matsuda@sophia.ac.jp