As business at Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank slowly recovers following the revelation of payoffs to a “sokaiya” extortionist, fresh allegations have surfaced that the bank had wined and dined Finance Ministry officials to cover up the payoffs.The bank’s business suffered severely amid the scandal, in which 11 executives, including former Chairman Tadashi Okuda, have been indicted. In the four months following raids by prosecutors on DKB’s Tokyo headquarters last May, total personal deposits at the bank fell by 500 billion yen, according to industry sources.The nation’s top four brokerages were also adversely affected after it was revealed that they too had been paying off the same sokaiya, Ryuichi Koike. Yamaichi Securities Co., already struggling under the weight of financial troubles, eventually filed for voluntary closure last November.Meanwhile, total deposits at DKB have reportedly started picking up in recent months as depositors returned to major banks such as DKB amid the collapse of Yamaichi, Hokkaido Takushoku Bank and other financial institutions.The amount of personal deposits with DKB at the end of December was about 250 billion yen more than the amount before the payoffs came to light, sources said. But the upward trend may not survive late December media reports of dubious ties between officials of the bank and the Finance Ministry.DKB officials reportedly entertained finance officials during ministry investigations of the bank in 1994 to encourage the ministry to issue a favorable report on its bad loans. The Tokyo District Prosecutor’s Office is reportedly investigating details of the alleged ties.

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