Mizuho’s top executives to resign over system failures

Pedestrians are reflected in the logo of Mizuho Financial Group outside a Mizuho Bank Ltd branch in Tokyo, Japan. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

Mizuho Financial Group said on Friday its chief, chairman and three other executives will resign as financial authorities reprimanded Japan’s No. 3 lender for a series of technical system failures.

The Financial Services Agency (FSA), the country’s banking regulator, said in a statement the failures had “undermined the credibility of Japan’s bank settlement system”.

Group CEO Tatsufumi Sakai and Chairman Yasuhiro Sato, as well as the head of the main banking unit and executives in charge of the group’s systems and compliance, will step down by April to take responsibility for the glitches, the bank said.

Mizuho has not selected the next CEO and plans to leave the chairman post vacant.

The FSA reprimanded Mizuho for eight system glitches that took place this year, despite a $3.6 billion overhaul of its systems in 2019.

The regulator referred to governance problems at Mizuho, including an underestimation of the risks related to its banking systems, insufficient attention to on-site conditions and a culture in which employees “do not say what should be said”.

Separately, in the first such order issued to a bank since Japan overhauled its foreign exchange law in 1998, the finance ministry ordered it to take corrective measures to prevent any further breach of the law.

During one of the system failures, the bank failed to comply with anti-money laundering procedures necessary for overseas remittances, as Japan strives to tighten regulations to prevent money laundering.

The ministry cited a lack of knowledge by Mizuho‘s executives of foreign exchange law, a lack of communication among sections concerned and the fragility of its system management as reasons for the censure.

Japan has redoubled efforts against money-laundering through a three-year action plan that includes tighter supervision of financial institutions following a report in August by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global financial crimes watchdog.

Reuters

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.