Business / Corporate

Mizuho chief tells Diet bank will clean up act

Kyodo

Mizuho Bank President Yasuhiro Sato said Thursday at the Diet that the lender will call on more outside experts to improve its legal compliance since its established practice of lending to gangsters came to light.

Sato offered unsworn testimony before the House of Councilors Committee on Financial Affairs and apologized for the bank’s “inadequate handling in severing ties with anti-social forces and our erroneous report to the Financial Services Agency.”

“We are considering inviting people outside Mizuho Securities Co. and Mizuho Trust & Banking Co. to become board members. We also want to increase the number of outside members versed in governance and issues regarding anti-social forces at Mizuho Bank,” he said.

Sato also suggested he will remain in his post to improve the bank’s operations.

In previous unsworn testimony given when summoned to the House of Representatives on Nov. 13, Sato admitted that the bank itself did business with gangsters in addition to the tie-up loans it extended through group consumer credit company Orient Corp.

The bank and its parent, Mizuho Financial Group Inc., have admitted to lending more than ¥200 million to the mob through Orient, mostly in the form of auto loans. It did nothing about the situation for more than two years and made a false report to the FSA claiming its top management was unaware of the transactions.

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