Aozora Bank on Monday finished repaying the government for all the public money injected into its nationalized predecessor, Nippon Credit Bank, during Japan’s nonperforming loan crisis in the late 1990s, officials from the lender said.
On Monday, Aozora paid back some ¥143.4 billion to complete its repayment of the bailout, which came to around ¥355 billion, including ¥320 billion in bailout funds injected since 1998, plus dividends.
The bank planned to complete repayment by 2022 but decided to move the date forward in light of its strong share price, which it said reflects its business recovery.
Fellow bailout recipient Resona Holdings Inc. completed its repayment last Thursday, leaving Shinsei Bank the only major bank yet to repay the public.
Shinsei’s prospects for repayment remain unclear due to its stagnant stock price.
To complete repayment, Aozora “focused on its core operations and streamlined its businesses,” President Shinsuke Baba told reporters.
The bank plans to shift its focus to operations related to asset management targeting the elderly and real estate investment in coordination with regional banks.
Aozora is the successor to the now-defunct Nippon Credit Bank, which collapsed in 1998 under the weight of bad loans and was put under temporary state control. It changed its name to Aozora Bank in 2001 following its sale to private-sector investors.