Mizuho to punish yakuza loan officials

JIJI, Kyodo

Mizuho Bank will punish officials swept up in a scandal involving loans to anti-social groups including yakuza crime syndicates, President Yasuhiro Sato said Monday.

“We need to take very stern action. We will discuss what the punishment would be appropriate retroactively,” Sato told reporters.

The punishments are expected to include pay cuts, sources said.

The Financial Services Agency on Friday issued a business improvement order to the core unit of Mizuho Financial Group Inc., faulting the bank for its failure to prevent or terminate so-called tie-up loans to yakuza and other anti-social forces for more than two years.

Sato said he himself cannot escape responsibility as chief executive officer of Mizuho Financial and president of the bank. But Sato said he would like to continue in his public service roles, which include work on the government’s Industrial Competitiveness Council.

The FSA said Mizuho Bank made more than ¥200 million in automobile loans to antisocial forces, which were extended in tie-ups with consumer loan firms including Orient Corp., a Mizuho group company. A bank executive in charge of compliance failed to report the problem to top management.

In total, there were 230 transactions under a tie-up loan scheme in which financial institutions provide loans following application screening by consumer credit companies.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday that it is “very regrettable” that Mizuho Bank was involved in inappropriate loan practices for a long time.