Ex-Mizuho CEO May Have Had An Inkling About Yazuka Ties

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Turns out former chief Satoru Nishibori wasn't quite as in-the-dark about loans to mafiosi as previously claimed.

"We confirmed from a direct hearing with [Mr. Nishibori] that he had been aware of this matter," Mr. Sato said in his first news conference since the financial regulator punished Mizuho for lax compliance, ordering it to submit a plan to improve its operations.

Mr. Sato, who also serves as chief executive of the bank's parent, Mizuho Financial Group Inc., said his bank found over the weekend that Mr. Nishibori could have known about some loan transactions as early as July 2010….

Mr. Sato said he personally was also "in a position" to know about the problem as early as July 2011, citing materials on the loans handed out during several compliance meetings and board meetings he attended. But he said he didn't recognize the issue until the Financial Services Agency brought it up in March this year.

"I don't recall the issue having been discussed at those meetings and there's no such record in the minutes," he said….

Mizuho Bank had previously said at least four senior executives, including the deputy president in charge of legal compliance, knew about loan transactions with members of crime syndicates for more than two years, starting in 2010, but they didn't alert the bank's chief executive or its board.

Former Mizuho Head Got Reports on Dodgy Loans [WSJ]

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