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Mizuho replaces compliance officer after crime loans reprimand

A man walks past a branch of Mizuho bank belonging to Mizuho Financial Group in Tokyo February 25, 2013. REUTERS/Yuya Shino
A man walks past a branch of Mizuho bank belonging to Mizuho Financial Group in Tokyo February 25, 2013. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

TOKYO (Reuters) - Mizuho Financial Group <8411.T> said on Thursday it had replaced its chief compliance officer almost a week after Japan's banking regulator reprimanded it over loans extended through consumer credit agencies to members of organized crime networks.

Japan's second-largest lender has also come under fierce public criticism over the loans scandal. A Mizuho spokeswoman said that Masakane Koike, managing director in charge of risk management and compliance at Mizuho Bank, was relieved of the compliance role on Monday.

Deputy President Yasunori Tsujita now handles compliance, the spokeswoman said.

The Financial Services Agency (FSA) last week ordered Mizuho to improve its business practices, saying the bank had known since 2010 that it had, through the credit agencies, extended more than 200 million yen ($2 million) in loans to what the regulator called counter-social forces.

Koike's term as compliance officer began in 2012, nearly two years after the loans were extended. The Mizuho spokeswoman said the bank had decided it would be best to have a senior executive on the committee handling the loans issue.

(Reporting by Taiga Uranaka; Editing by Miral Fahmy)

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