• SHARE

The former presidents of Fuji Bank, Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank and the Industrial Bank of Japan — the three components that on April 1 merged into two banks under Mizuho Holdings Inc. — will step down to take responsibility for the sputtering group’s ongoing computer snarls.

The announcement came Tuesday from Yoshiro Yamamoto, who resigned as president of Fuji at the end of March, as did Dai-Ichi Kangyo President Katsuyuki Sugita and IBJ President Masao Nishimura. In addition, the three also resigned as CEOs of Mizuho Holdings.

The three were given the title special adviser at Mizuho Holdings. In Japan, former top executives are often given these positions, which allow them to continue exerting influence and pull down hefty salaries.

Meanwhile, Terunobu Maeda, who assumed the presidency of Mizuho Holdings after serving as a vice president at Fuji Bank, said he will determine his own fate at the end of the month.

“We want to do our utmost to make sure all operations are fully running by then,” Maeda told an Upper House panel. “Once operations resume and we know how and why the troubles occurred, we will clarify responsibility, including my own, and take appropriate action.”

In another development, Tokyo Electric Power Co. reported that it has yet to receive 5.2 billion yen in transfers from Mizuho that it was expecting Monday. The company is considering filing a lawsuit.

In the two weeks since Mizuho Bank and Mizuho Corporate Bank were launched, automated teller machines nationwide have failed on two occasions, millions of transactions have been delayed and tens of thousands of debentures were posted twice or not at all. Mizuho still has 250,000 incomplete banking settlements lost in its massive electronic network.

With banks paying 0.001 percent interest on regular deposits, most depositors rely on the nation’s banks to transfer rent, utility bill and credit card payments. The speed and accuracy in clearing these payments was what Fuji Bank, in particular, prided itself on.

“The responsibility lies with the three former chief executive officers” who oversaw the bank reorganization and system merger, Yamamoto said. “We will take responsibility once the situation is resolved and the causes of the troubles are found.”

The confusion comes after 18 months of infighting as the computer systems of the three banks were linked and integrated. More finger-pointing among is likely as executives come forward to explain to regulators and the public just what went wrong.

Each component bank was responsible for taking care of its own preparations toward consolidation.

The snafu will take the rest of the month to untangle, Maeda said.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)