July 4, 2014 / 2:57 AM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-Japan picks Hosomizo as new chief financial regulator

(Adds details and background)

TOKYO, July 4 (Reuters) - The Japanese government has appointed Kiyoshi Hosomizo as commissioner of the Financial Services Agency as part of a routine personnel reshuffle, Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Friday.

The change takes effect immediately.

Hosomizo, 58, who joined the Ministry of Finance in 1978, was head of the FSA's supervisory bureau. He takes over as head of the country's financial regulator from Ryutaro Hatanaka, who had been in the post for three years.

Under Hatanaka, the FSA made a subtle but significant shift in its bank supervisory approach from its traditional focus on lending practices to prevent a buildup of bad loans.

The FSA started telling regional banks recently to come up with viable growth strategies or to merge with rivals in shrinking local economies. Bank executives see it as the regulator pushing for industry consolidation.

Hosomizo is taking over as Japan's top financial regulator when Japan remains at odds with countries such as the United States and Britain over how much capital major banks should have to cushion them from possible future losses.

While the United States and some other countries push for stricter capital rules, Japan disagrees about the details of a common approach on grounds it already has in place a deposit insurance system designed for bank failures.

FSA was spun off from Ministry of Finance in late 1990s as an independent financial regulator overseeing banks, insurers and brokerages. (Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto and Taiga Uranaka; Editing by Chris Gallagher & Kim Coghill)

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