Breaking News
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your experience. Save up to 40% More details

Mizuho's corporate culture to blame for serial system failures, probe finds

Stock MarketsJun 15, 2021 08:06AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Mizuho Financial Group logo is seen at the company's headquarters in Tokyo, Japan August 20, 2018. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

By Takashi Umekawa

TOKYO (Reuters) -Mizuho Financial Group Inc's corporate culture is to blame for its long history of tech system failures, creating an atmosphere where managers are reluctant to express opinions and unable to respond well to crises, an investigation found.

The damning report was commissioned by Japan's third-largest lender after four system breakdowns between February and March this year, which came despite the bank having spent more than $3.6 billion to overhaul its systems in 2019. That revamp followed two large-scale breakdowns in 2002 and 2011.

The third-party report said Mizuho rotated tech staff too often which prevented the accumulation of knowledge and that managers were too hesitant to question the status quo.

"The atmosphere within the company is one where managers believe the best course is to take the stance that they have done what they are supposed do rather than taking the risk of actively expressing their opinion. This contributes to a lack of positive and proactive action on their part," the report said.

Ten years ago when Mizuho reported system failures, the country's financial watchdog told the bank there was a problem with its culture.

"Our corporate culture hasn't remained the same, but it's also true it would not easily change," Chief Executive Tatsufumi Sakai told a press conference on Tuesday.

One of the glitches this year affected most of its ATMs, leaving customers unable to retrieve thousands of bank cards and bank books stuck inside in the machines.

"I came to know the ATMs breakdown through internet news," Koji Fujiwara, the head of Mizuho's main banking unit, told reporters, highlighting how Mizuho was slow to share information with its management.

Mizuho said it would set up an internal committee to prevent recurrences and plans to recruit executives from tech companies to improve know-how.

Sakai will have his pay halved for six months to take responsibility for the problems, while Fujiwara will take a 50% pay cut for four months.

"We, as a whole organization, strongly recognise it's necessary to take fundamental preventive measures in order not to let such issues happen again," Mizuho said in a statement.

Mizuho did not, however, announce Fujiwara's resignation which had been flagged by domestic media.

The report was compiled by a four member team led by lawyer Shuji Iwamura and also including another lawyer, a former Fair Trade Commission official and a former NTT DoCoMo executive.

Mizuho's shares closed up 0.4%.

($1 = 110.0700 yen)

Mizuho's corporate culture to blame for serial system failures, probe finds

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email