• Kyodo


Aomori Bank and Michinoku Bank on Friday disclosed a list of punitive measures for senior staff members who failed to report money remittances that were found to be linked to an embezzlement case.

On Thursday, the Financial Services Agency handed the two regional financial institutions, both of which are based in Aomori Prefecture, with business improvement orders that mandated them to take corrective measures over the case.

The FSA said that by failing to notify financial regulators of the remittances the banks violated a law covering money-laundering and illegal transactions.

On Friday, Aomori Bank said it has doled out pay cuts of between 10 percent and 20 percent to 10 executives and reprimanded eight employees in charge of remittances. Bank officials did not specify how long the pay cuts will last.

The bank also said that, in order to prevent a recurrence, it will create a new management committee tasked with unilaterally monitoring possible law violations and improving the training of employees.

Michinoku Bank said that three executives, including the firm’s auditor, will step down and that five others will be handed pay cuts of between 5 percent and 20 percent for periods ranging from six months to one year.

Fourteen other employees will have their bonuses cut by between 5 percent and 10 percent.

The firm also pledged to set up an independent auditing section.

Both banks allowed a former accounting manager of the prefecture’s housing authority to transfer more than 600 million yen to his wife in Chile. The money was part of 1.44 billion yen that the accountant has admitted embezzling between 1995 and last October.

Yuji Chida, a former official of Aomori Prefectural Housing Supply Public Corp., stands accused of withdrawing the money from the bank account of the president of the public corporation on 162 occasions.

Chida, 45, pleaded guilty to the charges in February.

On Friday, Aomori Bank said that it carried out remittances and money exchanges worth a total of 498 million yen for Chida on 60 occasions.

Separately, Michinoku Bank said it carried out 10 transactions with Chida from August 2000, involving 128 million yen in transfers.

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