A House of Representatives panel will summon Mizuho Holdings Inc. President Terunobu Maeda and the heads of Japan’s three other major banking groups to give unsworn testimony Wednesday on the results of recent government inspections.
The Lower House Committee on Financial Affairs is expected to question the four bank chiefs over their planned response to the results of the inspections, which were conducted by the Financial Services Agency to assess what number of loans to 149 companies has turned sour.
As a result of the FSA inspections, released last Friday, the nation’s 13 major banks will book a combined 7.8 trillion yen in loan-loss charges for fiscal 2001, up from the 6.4 trillion yen they had projected earlier.
That will push all four into the red for the year through March 31, the agency said.
The four chieftains are also likely to face tough questions from panel members about risk management with regard to their computer systems, in the wake of widespread computer glitches that hit Mizuho Financial Group this month.
In addition to Maeda, the panel will also summon Shigemitsu Miki, president of Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group Inc.; Yoshifumi Nishikawa, president of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp.; and Masashi Teranishi, president of UFJ Bank, a core component of UFJ Holdings Inc.
Mizuho’s computer troubles began just before the April 1 launch of Mizuho Bank and Mizuho Corporate Bank, which were created through the merger of Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank, Fuji Bank and the Industrial Bank of Japan under Mizuho Holdings.
Thousands of the banks’ customers were double-billed for utility charges, and 7,000 automated teller machines crashed. Many utility companies are still experiencing delays in receiving customer payments due to the computer malfunctions.
Financial Services Minister Hakuo Yanagisawa said Thursday he expects that the Mizuho group will submit a final report on the incident on May 1.
“It is important that (the Mizuho group) ensures that it will be able to overcome (its troubles),” Yanagisawa told the House of Councilors Committee on Financial Affairs. “The group said it will be difficult to say it has settled the problem until it sees the situation after a fifth, 10th, or first day of a month,” when companies make millions of settlement transfers.
The FSA is expected to study measures to help the group improve its operations after studying the report.
Earlier in the day, the Mizuho group said it has nearly finished processing the backlog of transactions but that it still expects partial delays in notifying companies of cash withdrawals and cash deposits for clients.
It said it hopes to be functioning glitch-free by May 1, the officials said.
Critics say bitter competition for leadership among Fuji, DKB and IBJ led to poor coordination in the integration of their computer systems ahead of the April 1 merger.
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