Japan’s Second-Biggest Bank Punished over Loans to Organized Crime

Wayne Ellis

bank vault

Japan’s Second-Biggest Bank Punished over Loans to Organized Crime (Reuters)

Japan’s second-largest lender, the Mizuho Financial Group, will face a significant shake-up of its management team in March, due to a loan scandal. Chairman Takashi Tsukamoto will step down, as the bank incurs charges from the country’s banking regulators that it granted loans to known organized crime members.  While the loans themselves weren’t huge — some 230 totaling about $2 million — the bank failed to take action for two years after these loans were identified as being made to “anti-social” forces. To ensure this never happens again, Mizuho Chairman Tsukamoto offered to step down. But President Yasuhiro Sato would not leave his position — instead offering to give up his compensation for the 12-month period starting this past November. In addition, Mizuho wants to introduce a new board of directors, composed of figures outside of the industry, and will introduce such an idea to its shareholders at their annual meeting in June. Whether all of these changes will restore the confidence of Japanese consumers remains to be seen.

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