Japan’s trade watchdog has cautioned Mizuho Financial Group’s brokerage unit, saying the company priced newly listed stocks in a way that could undermine competition and cause the issuing firms "unfair disadvantages.”

Mizuho Securities set prices on some initial public offerings in 2020 and 2021 at levels below where the issuers said they should be, the Japan Fair Trade Commission said in a statement Thursday. The brokerage asked the companies to accept its proposed prices, without closely considering the firms’ own research results or adequately explaining why it wouldn’t factor them in, the FTC said.

While the warning doesn’t involve any fine or other penalties, it suggests the government is getting more serious about removing what it sees as obstacles to its plan to turbocharge Japan’s startup ecosystem. It is the first time the commission has issued a caution in relation to IPO price-setting, Naohiko Komuro, director of the investigation division, said at a news briefing.