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Sumitomo Mitsui Chief Joins Nomura in Apology for Insider Probe

Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. President Koichi Miyata apologized to shareholders following the arrest of a former brokerage unit executive suspected of insider trading.

He made the apology in his opening remarks at the private gathering, said investor Shinji Asai, who attended the event today at the Tokyo headquarters of Sumitomo Mitsui, Japan’s second-biggest lender by market value. Kyosuke Hattori, a company spokesman, confirmed the comments.

Miyata joins Nomura Holdings Inc. Chief Executive Officer Kenichi Watanabe in expressing regret to shareholders over their firms’ roles in a regulatory crackdown on insider trading. Miyata pledged to strengthen the Sumitomo Mitsui group’s compliance in a bid to prevent such breaches, Hattori said.

Hiroyoshi Yoshioka, a former executive of SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., a Sumitomo Mitsui unit, was arrested on June 25, becoming the first banker from a major brokerage to be detained for suspected insider trading since 2008.

SMBC Nikko President Eiji Watanabe apologized at a news conference on later that day, while adding that Yoshioka denies involvement in insider trading while he was at the firm.

The brokerage has already been penalized separately for leaking insider information. The Financial Services Agency ordered SMBC Nikko in April to improve its business after 23 sales staff disclosed information to 34 clients before an unidentified company’s announcement of an equity offering.

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