Mizuho Takes Steps to Improve Compliance After Crime-Group Loans

Mizuho Financial Group Inc.’s banking unit set up an internal committee and will assemble a panel of outside experts to improve compliance after it failed to act on loans made to crime groups.

Deputy President Toshitsugu Okabe told reporters of the measures after bowing in apology at a news conference in Tokyo today. It was the first briefing by Japan’s third-biggest bank by market value since the Financial Services Agency ordered the lending unit to improve business a week ago.

Mizuho Bank Ltd. failed to take steps to end loans to “anti-social” groups for more than two years after becoming aware of them, the FSA said Sept. 27. Okabe said today that at least four senior executives responsible for compliance at the time knew of the transactions and didn’t inform superiors.

Okabe replaced Masakane Koike as head of compliance at the holding company on Sept. 30, and Yasunori Tsujita took over Koike’s equivalent role at the banking unit on the same day, the Tokyo-based bank said this week.

Mizuho Bank made all 230 transactions, which totaled about 200 million yen ($2 million), through its Orient Corp. consumer credit affiliate, Okabe said today.

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said at a separate briefing that Mizuho’s violation was regrettable and urged it to take necessary actions to operate appropriately.

The company must submit a report to the FSA by Oct. 28.

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