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Feature on Intrinsic Business Responsibility

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Financial Facilitation Initiatives

Vigorously Exercising Our Financial Intermediary Function

Financial Facilitation Resources

The Small and Medium–Sized Enterprise Finance Facilitation Law (the "SME Finance Law") was originally implemented in December 2009 with expiration scheduled for March 2011. The amendment law for a one year extension was approved and put in force.

Given current economic conditions, it is important to not only do as much as possible to respond to customer needs in terms of modifying loan terms but to also monitor customer efforts to improve their businesses, and exercise our consulting function to listen to what customers need to enhance their businesses and make recommendations on how they can do so.

Mizuho has traditionally been proactive in providing financial intermediary services underpinned by the belief that active fulfillment of its financial intermediary function, under an appropriate risk management structure, contributes to the sound development of its customer's businesses and the enhancement of their private lives and of the economy. This in turn will ensure the soundness and integrity of Mizuho's operations.

Mizuho Financial Group, the holding company, Mizuho Bank, Mizuho Corporate Bank, and Mizuho Trust & Banking (the "Three Group Banks") of the Mizuho Group have striven to facilitate financing by creating an integrated financial facilitation organization for the group.

Specifically, the Three Group Banks establish the Finance Facilitation Management Committee, an intra–group organ consisting of related officers as committee members, for deliberation and coordination on the management of corporate finance facilitation. They also designate their respective officers in charge of the Risk Management Group as the Chief Officers for Finance Facilitation Management. In addition, to appropriately handle customer complaints and consultations, the Three Group Banks establish the dedicated Complaint & Consultation Window regarding finance facilitation.

A dedicated unit immediately considers how best to proceed when a customer complaint or question is received, and keeps a chronological record of all customer complaints and questions and how they were addressed.

All Three Group Banks have established units dedicated to financial facilitation, and each domestic business promotion division and branch has appointed a person to be responsible for financial facilitation. Through these and other measures, we have created a system that responds to customer's queries and consulting needs more swiftly and in greater detail than in the past.

Through approaches like these, Mizuho is enhancing its monitoring of how customer businesses fare, for example, after changes in lending conditions, and exercising its consulting function to help customers solve business problems. We do this in a genuinely customer–oriented effort to proactively help customers improve or revitalize their businesses. Going forward, we are committed to using all of the resources available to promote financial facilitation, and to meeting our social responsibilities as a financial institution.

Streamline Systems to Further Facilitate Corporate Finance
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Consultations on the Changes in Loan Conditions

Aim to Seriously Handle Every Case of Loans from the Standpoint of a Customer

The SME Finance Law requires financial institutions to make their best effort to change lending conditions when requested to by a small or medium–sized enterprise, individual, or housing loan borrower. It also requires financial institutions to put in place the necessary systems and report on their compliance to the Financial Services Agency (the "FSA"). Furthermore, even after lending conditions have been changed, financial institutions are required to establish systems that permit them to regularly follow up with customers that are trying to improve their operations, help such customers with advice and recommendations, and provide appropriate support.

Considering that promoting finance facilitation may provide an opportunity to further strengthen its primary retail banking, MHBK has adjusted its systems accordingly.

For example, MHBK, which has a customer base comprised mainly of SMEs and middle–market corporations, and individuals, has established the "Financial Service Support Office" in the Credit Department to focus on determining legal compliance policies and internal procedures for matters like changing conditions of business loans, and disseminating these policies and procedures to the Credit Department, business promotion divisions, and branches. MHBK has also established the "Corporate Finance Support Office" within its Corporate Banking Planning Division to apply the group's information resources and networks in providing management advice and support, and in performing other consulting functions, for SMEs and middle–market corporations. Changes in loan conditions of housing loans for individuals and other matters are led by the Loan Business Developing Division. Like this, specialized units promote their initiatives for financial facilitation.

Each specialized unit has prepared manuals to respond appropriately to customers regarding any changes in lending conditions, and regularly determines the status of compliance within business promotion divisions and branches, prepares Q&A sheets, conducts training, and takes other steps, as well, to help ensure that employee understand what they need to know to provide swift, detailed services in compliance with the SME Finance Law. These units also centrally manage information on the terms about which customers have asked questions or made requests, and check the status of responses to customers by divisions and branches. In cases where it was necessary to refuse a request, these units check to see that the responsibility to explain why was fully met. In addition, for cases in which loan conditions have been changed, these units take steps to ensure the progress of the customer's business is properly monitored.

Follow–Up System toward Business Promotion Divisions and Branches
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Manager's Comments

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Shunichiro Ono
Joint General Manager,
Financial Services Support Office, Credit Supervision Division I
Mizuho Bank

I keenly sense our grave social responsibility.

Since before the SME Finance Law was extended, MHBK's business promotion divisions and branches, and specialized units within divisions, were acting in unison to pursue initiatives for the exercise of our financial intermediary functions. Their actions have been based on the view that not only genuine openness to changes in loan conditions and other requests, but also support for business improvement and revitalization by customers who had discussed or requested changes in lending conditions are matters of social responsibility. Building relationships of trust with customers, seeing their needs and concerns from their perspective, and making and implementing recommendations to serve those needs and concerns is the very essence of the role we are expected to play within society.

Supporting Business Improvement and the Restructuring of SMEs and Middle–Market Corporations

Drawing on the Group's Information–Related Functions and Abundant Know–How

Mizuho Bank early focused efforts on the business improvement and restructuring of SMEs and middle–market corporations as an important social role to be performed by a retail bank.

To strengthen our business revitalization support for customers, we have established dedicated credit supervision units to oversee business continuation and revitalization support for SMEs and middle–market corporations. These dedicated units, working in an integrated fashion with business promotion divisions and branches, engage in extensive discussions with customer company management to develop a shared understanding of the current status of the company's business and key management concerns. Efforts in this regard also include frequent visits to the customer's manufacturing, retail, or other facilities to gain a direct understanding of the issues facing the customer. In supporting the revitalization of customer businesses, we draw on not only the group's information functions and business network but also the wealth of revitalization experience and know–how we have developed over the years to consider revitalization possibilities from multiple perspectives.

Even if the customer's single–handed restructuring is determined to be difficult, various other possible methods for restructuring are pursued, for example, "introducing sponsoring corporation(s) in collaboration with related departments in charge of the M&A business." We aim to establish better partnerships between customers and MHBK through the business continuation and/or restructuring that would be achieved with these supporting efforts.

We also strive to systematize the accumulated business restructuring know–how and in–house sharing of relevant information to increase the number of management support cases in cooperation with business promotion divisions and branches.

Exercising business consulting functions

Pursuing business consulting from the perspective of financial facilitation

MHBK pursues business consulting based on detailed support tailored to each customer's position within the business lifecycle (Support for establishment / start up, Support for solving management issues, Support for business revitalization, and Support for business succession).

In addition to routine services provided by business promotion divisions and branches, we offer services for businesses in the environmental, agricultural, Heartful and other growth segments. We provide services based on collaboration with divisions in charge of business analysis, business matching, M&A, and other solution options. And the information on how we support customers that use group functions is under the central control of the Finance Service Support Office. We have streamlined systems to pursuit business consulting from the perspective of financial facilitation.

We have also developed various tools for detailed business analysis and other consulting functions. Each type of tool makes use of discussion papers, financial examinations, the provision of various types of information and recommendations, business improvement support, and other approaches depending on the customer's individual conditions and needs. Furthermore, in June 2010, we established the "Business Consulting Help Desk" to provide business promotion division and branch personnel with advice on specific ways to move forward, how to use the various types of tools and division functions, and other know–how for routine visits to customers. These visits are key opportunities to listen to customer concerns and provide management support.

MHBK makes use of the survey and research, information provision, and management, accounting, legal, tax, human resources, and other comprehensive consulting functions of Mizuho Research Institute. And to supplement our regular consulting functions, we began conducting Mizuho Business Consulting Seminars for small and medium–sized enterprises in fiscal 2010. In that year, we held these seminars on six occasions for a total of approximately 300 participants.

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Business consulting and other tools

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Mizuho business consulting seminar

Branches (Japan)

Branches (International)

Integrated Report

CSR Management

Fostering Industries with the Aim of Generating Business Opportunities

Corporate Information

Group Companies

Mizuho's Brand Strategy

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