Regulator set to issue improvement order to Mizuho

Japan's financial regulator is arranging to issue another business improvement order to Mizuho Financial Group and its banking unit in response to a series of system failures earlier this year.

Sources say the Financial Services Agency is making final arrangements to deliver the order to the group and Mizuho Bank after notifying them as early as next week of the results of an inspection into what caused the glitches.

Mizuho Bank experienced system trouble eight times between February and September.

In February, bank cards and passbooks became stuck inside ATMs, forcing customers to wait for hours to retrieve them.

In August, over-the-counter transactions temporarily became unavailable at about 520 branches nationwide, including ones operated by Mizuho Trust & Banking, another group unit.

The agency slapped a business improvement order on Mizuho in September to prevent a recurrence.

If issued, the expected business improvement order would be the fourth for system trouble at Mizuho, following ones in 2002, 2011 and September this year.

It has also been found that during a system failure, the bank made overseas transfers without following procedures required by law. It reportedly failed to sufficiently check if the transfer destinations had any links to money laundering.

The Finance Ministry, which has jurisdiction over the matter, has launched an investigation.