The Tokyo Metropolitan Government started on-site emergency inspections Tuesday at Mizuho Bank’s headquarters in Chiyoda Ward, four key branches and the bank’s civil service business center to look into the computer fiasco that occurred with their April 1 launch under Mizuho Holdings Inc.
The inspections of the key locations, which the metropolitan government designated to handle its official funds, followed a series of computer problems that affected money transfers and automated teller machine operations at Mizuho Holdings’ banks starting on April 1, and then again Monday.
On Monday, Mizuho Corporate Bank failed to process 65 transfer orders worth 97 million yen as a result of a computer problem.
The latest trouble occurred because two branches failed to put the necessary information into the bank’s computer system when it was upgraded at all 18 branches Sunday.
“They should get on the ball,” Financial Services Minister Hakuo Yanagisawa said at a news conference Tuesday morning. “I heard it was caused by human error, so I hope they clean up their act.”
The inspections are based on a Cabinet order on the Local Autonomy Law, but it is rare for a local government to conduct such emergency inspections.
The Financial Services Agency and the Bank of Japan inspected the banks earlier this month in connection with the computer woes.
During the inspection period until next Monday, 14 metropolitan officials are to look into the causes of the computer trouble and the current handling of the metropolitan government’s funds.
The officials are expected to compile a report on the investigation and measures against another fiasco after hearing from a committee of financial experts regarding the management of official funds.
The metropolitan government is demanding compensation for damages caused by the April system breakdown due to extra costs for handling debits for water bills and rent for public apartments it owns. The damages totaled about 1.78 billion yen, according to metropolitan officials.
Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara has suggested that Mizuho Bank may be penalized, depending on the results of the inspections.
The computer disaster disrupted the new bank’s operations. As a result, customers were double-billed for utilities charges, ATMs malfunctioned and other problems arose.
Pay cut for UFJ chief
UFJ Bank President Masashi Teranishi said Tuesday he will have take a 10 percent pay cut for three months to take responsibility for a January computer glitch that double-billed 180,000 accounts.
“I headed the system integration team from Jan. 15 onward. In a sense, I am responsible for inconvenience caused to our customers while I was supervising the team,” Teranishi said during a regular news conference.
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