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Mizuho Securities said Wednesday online trading in stocks for its customers was suspended for hours due to a glitch. Sound familiar?

The Mizuho Financial Group has been hit by a series of system problems recently that have undermined public confidence. Its banking unit, Mizuho Bank, suspended around 80% of its ATMs nationwide due to a card-eating system glitch in February.

In March, a hardware problem caused a delay in foreign currency-denominated remittances, mainly for corporate customers, affecting ¥50 billion in transactions. The financial group said in April that Hitachi hardware was involved.

Mizuho Securities USA underpaid nonwhite employees based in part on performance reviews 'replete with thinly disguised racial stereotyping,' according to a lawsuit filed by four former executives. | BLOOMBERG
Mizuho Securities USA underpaid nonwhite employees based in part on racist performance reviews, according to a lawsuit filed by four former executives. | BLOOMBERG

Compounding the misery, four former executives have filed a lawsuit in New York accusing Mizuho Securities USA of underpaying nonwhite employees based in part on performance reviews “replete with thinly disguised racial stereotyping.”

And while Mizuho struggles with tech and other issues, Rakuten is emerging as the first real digital contender to Japan’s big four lenders, Bloomberg reports. New digital bank accounts with the conglomerate expanded by 20% last year and recently topped 10 million, as Rakuten leverages its Amazon-like e-commerce dominance to steer users to its bank.

But hey, why not skip the hassle of banks altogether and get paid direct to your digital wallet? That could soon be a real option, reports Kazuaki Nagata, as the government looks to kick Japan’s addiction to cash as part of its digitization drive.

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