• SHARE

The Financial Reconstruction Commission and a consortium led by Softbank Corp. have bridged their differences over the purchase of the failed Nippon Credit Bank, a participant in the negotiations said Saturday.

The move comes just days after the two sides on Wednesday failed to meet the deadline for agreement on purchase terms for NCB, leading to pessimism in global financial markets about the Japanese financial system.

“We have come up with solutions on important issues and talks have moved forward,” said an official at one of the three companies comprising the consortium.

If a formal agreement is reached, the firms in the consortium — Softbank plus leasing company Orix Corp. and Japan’s biggest nonlife insurer, Tokio Marine & Fire Insurance Co. — will be the first nonbanking firms to apply for a banking license for a subsidiary.

The two sides have made rapid progress since renewing talks following the lapse of the Wednesday deadline, with the consortium making concessions, the consortium official said.

The FRC and the consortium have agreed that the government will pay for a part of any losses that occur on the loan assets and collateral real estate handed over to the consortium.

They also agreed that NCB’s auditor will make the final inspection of NCB’s loan assets to determine how much should be set aside as loan-loss reserves for its problem loans. The auditor of the Deposit Insurance Corp. will then make a final decision on the amount of loan-loss reserves.

The consortium had earlier insisted it be allowed to scrutinize the quality of NCB’s loan assets and to assess how much should be set aside as provisions to cover losses on the assets should their value fall.

In late February, the consortium was selected as the priority negotiation party for the purchase of NCB, one of Japan’s three long-term credit banks.

The bank was placed under state control in December 1998 after accumulating massive nonperforming loans.

The deadline for the negotiations was initially set at April 30, but was later set for May 31 after no agreement was reached.

After the second deadline was missed, the FRC was expected to revive talks with other parties interested in acquiring NCB.