• Kyodo

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Five financial institutions took over the operations of Ishikawa Bank on Monday, 15 months after the Kanazawa-based second-tier regional bank failed.

Two regional banks in Toyama Prefecture — Hokuriku Bank and First Bank of Toyama — and three entities in Ishikawa Prefecture — Kanazawa Shinkin Bank, Noto Shinyo Kinko and Hokkoku Bank — each took over part of Ishikawa Bank’s operations as of Monday.

The state-run Resolution and Collection Corp. took over the assets of Ishikawa Bank that had not been taken on by the financial institutions.

Ishikawa Bank went under in late December 2001. It had a negative net worth of about 22.8 billion yen as of the end of that September.

Ishikawa prefectural police earlier this month arrested three former and current managers of the bank along with four clients on suspicion of involvement with the bank’s questionable lending practices.

Police said the officials are suspected of lending about 5.7 billion yen in 2002 for a golf course business in Chiba Prefecture without sufficient collateral.

Aozora Bank relocates

Aozora Bank, the successor of the failed Nippon Credit Bank, on Monday relocated its headquarters in the Kudan area of Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward to a new building in the same neighborhood, the bank said.

A project to demolish the 35-year-old building that housed the old headquarters and redevelop the premises is under way.

The new building used to accommodate Sakura Bank.

The governmental Resolution and Recollection Corp. took possession of the old headquarters because NCB had put it up as collateral for loans to one of its affiliated companies.

Last year, RCC securitized the collateralized the building and sold the resultant securities to Mitsubishi Estate Co. and other investors.

NCB, nationalized in December 1998, was reborn as Aozora when it was sold to a consortium led by Softbank, Orix Corp. and Tokio Marine & Fire Insurance Co. in 2000.

Currently, ownership of Aozora is divided between Softbank, 48.8 percent; Orix and Tokio, 15 percent each; Cerberus, 12 percent; and regional banks and other stockholders, 9 percent.

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