Japan banks pledge clean up as crackdown uncovers more mob-linked loans

Japanese banks are pledging more stringent efforts to prevent dealings with organized crime after an investigation into such lending at Mizuho Financial Group prompted disclosures of wider problems.

The industry leaders acknowledged during a parliamentary hearing on Wednesday that lenders and other financial institutions are struggling to comply with a ban on such loans.

Mizuho's president, Yasuhiro Sato, was summoned for questioning by lawmakers after his bank said it had failed to act after discovering loans to gangs at one of its consumer credit affiliates.

Sato forfeited six months pay, and the chairman of Mihuzo's banking business resigned.

Asked if that was penalty enough, Sato acknowledged some people were calling for harsher penalties, but noted that his bank was not the only lender to have been caught extending mob-linked loans.