Japanese regulator seizes Mizuho’s computer system


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The Japanese banking regulator is reportedly overseeing the management of the system at Mizuho Financial Group Inc, a rare punishment following a series of technical failures within the banking group, a source told Reuters yesterday.

The decision by the Japan Financial Services Agency is expected to be part of an administrative action against retail lender Mizuho Bank Ltd and its parent company, Japan’s third-largest lender in terms of assets, the source said under cover of anonymity.

A spokesperson for Mizuho declined to comment.

The agency’s action – one of the most decisive in recent memory – would put the IT system of the retail arm of the Japanese banking giant under effective government control.

It comes after a series of high-profile technical collapses this year, including widespread ATM outages, which have frustrated customers and undermined confidence in the lender.

The technical issues are all the more noticeable as Mizuho spent more than US $ 3.6 billion to overhaul its systems in 2019. This overhaul follows two large-scale outages in 2002 and 2011.

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato declined to comment directly on reports of the action against Mizuho, ​​but said banks themselves must be responsible for creating systems to deliver services. financial.

A third-party report commissioned by the bank found that its corporate culture was to blame for its long history of technology system failures, creating an atmosphere in which managers are reluctant to voice their opinions and unable to respond well to crises.

The Nikkei Shimbun, which first reported the agency’s planned move, said the regulator would jointly manage the system with the bank and order system updates and maintenance to be carried out under its control.

The system’s management structure could also be overhauled if necessary, the Nikkei said.

The regulator would determine where management responsibility lies after clarifying the cause of Mizuho’s recent technical issues, he said.

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Gordon K. Morehouse