Banking group wants access to NPA’s yakuza database

The Japanese Bankers Association wants to take action against yakuza by enabling banks to access the National Police Agency’s database via the Deposit Insurance Corp. of Japan, informed sources said.
For banks, having access to the database would improve their client background checks, since police have more detailed information on members of organized crime. For DIC, however, the project would cut its police access for years.
The anti-gang initiative, announced Wednesday, follows last year’s revelations that Mizuho Bank ignored the fact that its consumer credit unit had been giving loans to gangsters for years.
The banking group, also called Zenginkyo, hopes to step up talks with the other parties involved so a final decision can be made by the end of next March, the sources said.
If the project gets the final go-ahead, however, an information-sharing system would need to be built from scratch, they added, meaning that DIC wouldn’t be able to access the police database for several years.
According to the sources, the banking association initially intended to connect its own system to the NPA database but had to drop the plan because access by private-sector entities is strictly limited.
Zenginkyo eventually came up with the idea of establishing a link between government-affiliated DIC, Japan’s banking system safety net, and the NPA so commercial banks can check the yakuza database via the public body to see whether clients are members of the underworld.
Despite the yakuza-lending scandal at Mizuho Bank, Zenginkyo plans to name Mizuho Financial Group President Yasuhiro Sato as its next chairman, succeeding Nobuyuki Hirano, according to informed sources.
The industry group is expected to approve the appointment at a board meeting on Sept. 18. Sato will take up the post next April for a one-year term, the sources said.
It will be Sato’s second time at the helm since April 2012. Conventionally, the heads of Japan’s three megabanks take turns at the post. Hirano is president of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. The third megabank is Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc