The Mizuho financial group, hit by serious computer problems upon the launch of its two banks at the beginning of April, completed 12 million settlements Tuesday, the largest number of daily online transactions handled by a bank.
Officials at Mizuho Holdings Inc. said Mizuho Bank and Mizuho Corporate Bank smoothly processed money transfers and automated teller machines ran without a hitch since early in the morning, completing almost all of the planned transactions by noon.
The group has said it hopes to be able to proclaim in May that it has resolved the glitches. To do so, it will have to successfully handle the Golden Week avalanche of transactions, which will continue through today, a test that could also decide whether the public will trust it with its hard-earned cash and, by extension, the fate of the group itself.
If more computer problems crop up, the banks could lose more clients, and management would face pressure from public and financial regulators to take responsibility for further inconveniencing customers.
According to the officials, about 9 million out of the 12 million settlements are money transfers for corporate clients, including 1.4 million transfers for NTT DoCoMo Inc.
The money transfers also include premiums for life and nonlife insurers as well as payments for major credit companies. Some municipalities, including the Yokohama Municipal Government, were withdrawing fixed-asset taxes charged to their residents.
The Zengin Data Telecommunication System, which handles domestic fund transfers involving individual and corporate transactions, and BOJ (Bank of Japan)-Net, which makes final settlements of funds, will extend their operations by one hour to ensure transactions that clear Mizuho’s systems will be properly processed.
The Zengin system and BOJ-Net took the same move Thursday, a payday at many companies and one of the busiest settlement days for utilities bills.
The fiasco that came after Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank, Fuji Bank and the Industrial Bank of Japan merged under the Mizuho umbrella caused thousands of customers to be double-billed for utilities charges and 7,000 ATMs to crash. At one point, there were 2.5 million cases of delays for cash withdrawals.
Mizuho Holdings President Terunobu Maeda said earlier the group would stabilize the computer system by the end of April.
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