• Kyodo

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Mizuho Financial Group Inc. said Thursday that Yasuhiro Sato will step down as president of its core banking unit, Mizuho Bank, on April 1 and that Deputy President Nobuhide Hayashi will take over.

Sato, however, will remain president of the entire Mizuho Financial Group, it said.

The announcement comes after the major financial group was punished last month by the Financial Services Agency over the bank’s involvement in making loans to the underworld.

The scandal over shady loans broke in late September, when the FSA ordered Mizuho Bank to improve operations after ignoring the mob loans for more than two years after learning of them.

The bank and the holding company have admitted to lending more than ¥200 million to yakuza through Orient Corp., mostly in the form of auto loans.

In October, Mizuho Bank took internal disciplinary action against 54 current and former executives, mostly in the form of pay cuts and waivers.

Last month, Mizuho Financial Group said Chairman Takashi Tsukamoto will step down from his post on March 31 to take responsibility for failing to properly manage the bank.

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