Mizuho Financial Group’s lending unit was penalized by Japan’s banking regulator for failing to take steps to end more than two years of transactions with 'anti-social' groups.
Bloomberg reports that Mizuho Bank was ordered to strengthen legal compliance and administrative controls, the Financial Services Agency said in a statement in Tokyo Friday. The unit of Japan’s third-biggest bank by market value made loans to the anti-social groups, the FSA said, without identifying them. The phrase is often used in Japan to describe criminal organizations.
Japanese authorities have stepped up efforts to combat yakuza gangs, whose activities range from extortion to fraud and money laundering, according to the National Police Agency. In the first penalty of its kind against a Japanese bank since 2007, the FSA told Mizuho to make a 'clean break' from the groups after conducting 230 transactions, mostly car loans.
Mizuho made transactions valued at about $2m, an FSA official said at a news briefing in Tokyo, asking not to be named in accordance with the agency’s policy.
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