TOKYO, Dec 25 (Reuters) - Japan’s banking regulator is set to order Mizuho Financial Group to suspend part of its operations for a month as an additional penalty over its loans to organised crime syndicate members, sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
The Financial Services Agency (FSA) plans to impose a month-long suspension of Mizuho’s core banking unit’s loan business with consumer credit companies, where the problem transactions took place, said the sources, who declined to be identified as they are not authorised to discuss the matter.
Banking examiners have been conducting a second round of investigation into Mizuho after Japan’s second-largest bank said it had provided authorities false information about how it handled the loan problem.
The FSA issued a business improvement order on Mizuho in late September for failing to take action for two years after the bank learned some of its loans were made to “anti-social forces”.
The 230 small transactions totalling about $2 million, mostly made up of car loans, were made by Mizuho consumer-finance affiliate Orient Corp and were among bulk loans the bank later bought from Orient.
The bank initially told regulators that the problem loans had been reported to only as high as the compliance executive level, but later said top executives were also aware of the matter, prompting the FSA to conduct another investigation and consider an additional penalty.
A Mizuho spokeswoman declined to comment. FSA officials were not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Taro Fuse and Taiga Uranaka; Editing by Robert Birsel)