Nissan Motor offers jobs, not money to aid failed insurer

Instead of providing a large sum of financial support to deal with the failure of Nissan Mutual Life Insurance Co., Nissan Motor Corp. is ready to accept the insurance company’s employees, the president of Nissan Motor said May 19.

Nissan Mutual, which suffered from a huge capital deficit, was ordered last month to discontinue operations, and the Life Insurance Association of Japan is hoping that Nissan Motor, Hitachi Ltd. and its group companies will invest in a new firm planned to be established to deal with the failure of Nissan Mutual. Nissan Motor invested 10 million yen in Nissan Mutual in the past, but the automaker withdrew its investment in 1967 and has currently no financial ties with Nissan Mutual, according to the company.

“We are not in a position to provide financial support, but if they asked us to accept their employees, we can consider it as a possibility because we have a long-term business relationship,” Nissan Motor President Yoshikazu Hanawa told reporters. Hanawa said the company will refuse to pay a large amount of money because it fears that such an action may lead to a derivative lawsuit against the company. “We don’t want to do anything that cannot gain our shareholders’ understanding,” Hanawa added.

According to Hanawa, neither the Life Insurance Association of Japan nor the Finance Ministry have so far asked the automaker to provide support for Nissan Mutual. However, the president also hinted that if the Nissan Fire & Marine Insurance Co. made the failed Nissan Mutual its subsidiary, Nissan Motor’s involvement in the issue may change.

The idea that Nissan Fire & Marine may make the life insurance firm its subsidiary is reportedly one of the proposed rescue plans for Nissan Mutual.