Verb conjugation; adverbial clauses; the future progressive: forget financial jargon, these are the words that may soon be found flying around the offices of Japan’s banking world.

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Verb conjugation; adverbial clauses; the future progressive: forget financial jargon, these are the words that may soon be found flying around the offices of Japan’s banking world.

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Japan’s second biggest bank by market value, has just unveiled a series of initiatives to encourage its staff to pick up the grammar books and learn English.

This month, rows of “language booths” will open in its Tokyo and Osaka offices where staff will be able to join one-to-one classes between 07.00 and 22.00 daily. Workers are also being encouraged to take officially-recognised English language tests, with perfect scores required for those planning to ascend the career ladder. The bank’s overseas presence – there are currently 15 branches outside Japan – will also expand, with more staff sent on international postings.

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