Mizuho Financial receives holding co. status in U.S.
TOKYO – Mizuho Financial Group Inc. said Tuesday it was granted financial holding company status by the Federal Reserve, beating its biggest domestic rival Mitsubishi UFJ as both seek to provide investment banking services in the U.S.The Fed granted the new status to Mizuho Financial Group’s commercial banking unit, Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd., effective Dec. 18. Mizuho is Japan’s second-largest banking group by assets, according to a statement.The new status puts Mizuho ahead in seeking approval to start investment banking operations in the world’s biggest financial business market.Mizuho already has some securities-related operations in the U.S., such as an agency brokerage and merger and acquisition advisory services through its securities brokerage unit.Meanwhile, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. suffered a setback in its plans for business expansion, as U.S. regulators ordered it on Monday to implement adequate anti-money laundering compliance programs. It is Japan’s biggest banking group by assets.The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the New York State Banking Department ordered Mitsubishi UFJ and its core banking unit, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, to review their anti-money laundering programs in the U.S. and provide a road map for improving safeguards within 60 days, Mitsubishi UFJ said in a separate statement.Mitsubishi UFJ said it will take the order seriously and swiftly come up with measures to strengthen programs to prevent transactions related to money laundering.
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