Mizuho Holdings Inc. said Tuesday that the embarrassing glitch that shut down its automatic teller machines the previous day has been fixed.
On Monday, when the world’s largest banking group by assets reorganized into a retail bank and a corporate banking unit, customers were unable to withdraw money or conduct transactions with other banks from Mizuho Bank’s 7,000-strong nationwide ATM network.
ATMs in convenience stores were also affected.
After spending the day apologizing to customers, Mizuho Holdings officials found a software problem in a relay computer that connects ATMs of the former Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank and Fuji Bank.
DKB, Fuji Bank and Industrial Bank of Japan were reorganized into Mizuho Bank and Mizuho Corporate Bank.
The relay computer, unable to handle the massive number of transactions Monday, simply shut down.
As well as the customarily heavy volume of transactions on the first day of the fiscal year, the ATM network was further hit by a backlog of transactions from customers unable to use ATMs over the weekend due to Mizuho’s consolidation preparations.
“It is a deplorable situation,” Financial Services Minister Hakuo Yanagisawa said. “I understand that many changes overlapped. I hope the bank handles the situation quickly, since the bank has an image to worry about.”
Finance Minister Masajuro Shiokawa was critical of the bank’s problems.
“It was very stupid,” he said. “The incident showed the bank was too lax.”
Mizuho Bank handles individual accounts and those of small domestic companies and local governments. It has the largest share of personal assets — 34 trillion yen — among Japanese banks.
Mizuho Bank customers can continue using their old ATM cards from the former component banks.
Loan entreaty issued
Financial Services Minister Hakuo Yanagisawa urged banks Tuesday to extend more corporate loans after the Bank of Japan’s “tankan” business sentiment survey Monday showed a sharp decline in lending.
“I want banks to lend to companies even if it entails raising interest rates,” Yanagisawa told a news conference.
The quarterly BOJ survey, conducted in March, shows that the diffusion index on loan availability for all types of companies slipped to minus 5, marking a steep drop from zero in the previous survey in December.
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