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The Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission on Thursday raided the head office of Aozora Bank and questioned an employee suspected of being involved in insider trading through use of internal loan information, sources said.

The employee, who is in his late 40s and works in the division that screens loans at the Tokyo-based bank, is suspected of buying shares in a company targeted for takeover by an Aozora client — around 2008 before the client publicly announced the plan.

The SESC suspects he made about ¥10 million through similar insider trades over the years by using the brokerage account of another person, the sources said.

The SESC is expected to file a criminal complaint against the employee if the probe generates enough evidence to back a case of insider trading.

Aozora Bank’s corporate communication division said the bank intends to fully cooperate with the commission’s investigation and declined comment on the content.

The probe comes at a time when Aozora Bank is slumping due to hefty losses stemming from overseas investment and loan operations hit by the global financial crisis. The bank fell into the red in fiscal 2008 with a group net loss of ¥242.5 billion.

In 2002, an employee of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, now Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, was indicted for repeatedly trading shares using information on takeover bids he had learned of at work. The employee was later handed a suspended 14-month prison term.

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