Nippon Credit Bank reported its “third-category” loans at 70 billion yen in its March 1997 request for public funds based on figures given by Finance Ministry inspectors, former NCB President Shigeoki Togo said in unsworn Diet testimony Thursday.

Appearing before the Lower House Budget Committee, Togo said, “It is my understanding that we were assured (by the Finance Ministry and the Bank of Japan) that our bank would not go under.”

NCB, which is now under state control, has been criticized for allegedly hiding the true extent of its bad loans in applying for public fund injections. The total of its bad loans is believed to be some 40 billion yen higher than that tallied by the ministry.

Togo was responding to a question posed by Yuji Tsushima of the Liberal Democratic Party. Along with Togo, former BOJ Gov. Yasuo Matsushita and Kimio Yamaguchi, former bureau chief of the Finance Ministry’s Banking Bureau, were summoned for unsworn testimony.

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