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Mizuho reported to FSA about shady loans without sufficient probe

Kyodo

A former Mizuho Bank vice president in charge of compliance matters said Thursday the bank submitted to Japan’s financial watchdog a false report on its lending to people related to underworld groups without interviewing him.

Tetsuro Ueno, who was in charge of legal compliance at the bank, told Kyodo News he had submitted materials mentioning the shady loans at a compliance meeting and other occasions in February 2011. But Mizuho concluded without interviewing him that top management had been unaware of the matter and reported its conclusion to the Financial Services Agency, he said.

Ueno stepped down from the post in March 2011.

Ueno said he was asked “absolutely nothing” about the matter until Oct. 7, adding it was “one of the critical issues” that needed to be dealt with when he reported it to the bank’s compliance meeting chaired by the Mizuho Bank president.

Mizuho left the issue unaddressed for more than two years until the FSA found out about the loans during inspections starting last December.

Satoru Nishibori, who was president at the time, has admitted he was informed in January 2011 of the yakuza-linked loans.

Mizuho initially reported to the FSA that its top management had not been aware of the issue but later admitted that materials mentioning the matter were distributed at board meetings and compliance meetings several times between 2011 and 2012.

Last month, the FSA ordered Mizuho to improve its business after finding out it had engaged in 230 transactions with people with ties to organized crime involving more than ¥200 million, mostly in the form of auto loans.