• Kyodo


Mizuho Bank said Monday that a glitch with its ATMs that had prevented some customers from withdrawing cash since Sunday had been fully fixed by Monday evening.

The problem affecting the nationwide service network of one of the nation’s top three commercial banks began Sunday, and 15 of its 5,400 ATMs were still not working properly as of noon on Monday. It took until Monday evening to restore all ATM services.

At least some 3,000 had stopped functioning at one point Sunday with some failing to return customers’ bank cards, according to the bank.

As a result of the system glitch, the Finance Services Agency has ordered Mizuho to submit a detailed report on the incident including how it dealt with affected customers, according to sources close to the matter.

“It is important to thoroughly investigate the cause and prevent a reoccurrence” of such a system failure, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told a news conference.

Mizuho’s internet banking service, which also failed to complete some transactions, has since been restored.

The problem was identified after maintenance work involving updates to fixed-term deposit transfer data, and had been fixed, the bank said.

A senior Mizuho official told reporters that the bank will conduct a third-party investigation and plans to explain its findings later.

Mizuho said on its website that it is working on contacting customers whose cash cards went unreturned so it can return them. It also asked those who had to pay extra fees to withdraw money by using the ATMs of other banks to consult with its branches.

Other banks are closely following the incident because Monday falls on the first day of March and there is usually a surge in transactions at the beginning of each month.

The banking arm of Mizuho Financial Group Inc. was informed of the problems with its ATMs on Sunday morning.

Mizuho customers expressed dismay at the glitch as the bank has suffered similar system failures in the past.

Many complained about how their cash cards were “sucked into” the machines, as well as how their calls were going unanswered on Sunday.

While some customers said they can no longer trust the bank, one customer tweeted about having to wait by an ATM for four hours.

In April 2002, when its affiliated banks were reorganized, system problems resulted in disruptions of about 2.5 million transactions.

In March 2011, ATM and counter transactions were temporarily suspended and more than 1 million money transfers were delayed soon after the massive earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan.

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