Compliance

As a leading Japanese financial services group with a global presence and a broad customer base, we remain conscious at all times of the importance of our social responsibilities and duty to the public. We define compliance as the strict observance of all laws and regulations and the pursuit of fair and honest business operations that conform to socially-accepted norms, and we view ongoing compliance as one of the basic principles of sound business management. Each of our group companies maintains their own compliance structure in line with the basic policies established by Mizuho Financial Group.

Compliance Structure

The President & CEO of Mizuho Financial Group, Mizuho Bank, Mizuho Trust & Banking, and Mizuho Securities each generally oversee compliance matters for their respective company, and important matters concerning compliance are discussed at the Compliance Committees chaired by the head of the relevant Compliance Group.

The four core group companies also have individual compliance departments overseen by the Head of the Compliance Group. These departments are responsible for compliance planning and implementation and control overall compliance management at each company. At each organizational unit (such as branches and departments) within the four core group companies, the head of the organizational unit is responsible for guidance and implementation related to compliance matters, and the compliance officer or compliance administrator at each organizational unit reviews the status of compliance.

Mizuho Financial Group monitors the status of compliance of the group through reports submitted by our core group companies and adopts appropriate responses as necessary. Compliance at subsidiaries of our core group companies is monitored and managed by their respective parent company.

Compliance structure

Compliance Practices

We have established the Mizuho Code of Conduct which sets forth clear and concrete standards of ethical behavior. Furthermore, each of our group companies has also prepared a compliance manual, which serves as a practical guidebook for rigorous compliance enforcement and clarifies the laws and regulations that we must observe in our business operations and the compliance practices we are required to follow. Mizuho ensures that all executive officers and employees are fully acquainted with both the Code of Conduct and the compliance manual’s content through, for example, training upon joining the company.

We monitor the status of compliance levels through self-assessments by each department and monitoring conducted by the compliance department of each company. In addition, every fiscal year, each of our group companies establishes a compliance program which contains concrete measures for compliance enforcement such as compliance framework management, training, and assessments. Progress on the compliance program is monitored every six months.

Financial Crime Risk Management

Financial crimes are becoming more diverse and sophisticated, and acts of terrorism continue to occur around the world. In light of these trends, anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) are extremely important. Against this backdrop, the key challenge for financial institutions is the strengthening of their AML measures and CFT initiatives. As a financial services provider operating globally, Mizuho Financial Group is subject to the laws and regulations of both Japan and the other jurisdictions where it operates, as well as to supervision from financial regulators based on those laws and regulations. Accordingly, we have devised AML and CFT policies and procedures that conform to the laws and regulations in each jurisdiction and we are also continually enhancing our AML and CFT measures.

Our Stance towards Organized Crime

In order to prevent organized crime from influencing the management of our clients and to avoid any association with the harm caused by organized crime, the Mizuho Code of Conduct includes a policy covering our zero-tolerance stance on business relationships with individuals or organizations that are in any way associated with organized crime and therefore threaten the rule of law, public order, and safety.

We have also formed an Anti-Organized Crime Committee which includes external experts in industryspecific, in-depth discussions on this subject, in addition to other initiatives we are implementing on a groupwide basis to ensure that we have no direct or indirect associations with organized crime. Moreover, drawing on the discussions in this committee, these matters are also discussed and reported on at meetings of the compliance committees of Mizuho Financial Group, Mizuho Bank, Mizuho Trust & Banking, and Mizuho Securities.

Furthermore, core group companies maintain centralized departments or appoint an officer to manage antiorganized crime efforts and to maintain effective frameworks, for example, by establishing a manual on how to manage such issues and conducting training sessions. If required, we consult with third-party experts and authorities on the handling of specific cases.

Measures for Ensuring Compliance

At Mizuho, compliance-related education and training are key measures for ensuring appropriate compliance. During fiscal 2020, Mizuho provided effective training tailored to a broad range of roles within the organization, from employees to senior management. We conducted 14 training sessions in total, including mandatory compliance training sessions for all employees; role-specific training for executive officers, general managers, compliance officers, and other senior management members; and e-learning training sessions on specific compliance topics.

Main training themes

  • Fiduciary duties
  • Management of customer information (firewall rules, etc.)
  • Severing relations with anti–social elements
  • Recent corporate scandals
  • Insider trading regulations
  • Prevent money laundering
  • Entertainment, gift-giving
  • Compliance hotline
     

In addition to training sessions and other programs designed to promote compliance, we are also dedicated to detecting potential compliance issues at the earliest stage possible and taking appropriate action. When we become aware of potential compliance issues, such matters must be reported immediately to department and branch managers in accordance with our compliance manual. Furthermore, each group company has established a hotline which employees can call in order to speak with someone within the Compliance Division or an external law office or compliance professional.

For matters related to inappropriate accounting, internal control on financial reporting, and auditing, an internal control and auditing hotline, which connects to an external law office, is available to receive reports from both in and outside the company.

Internal Reporting Systems (Compliance Hotline)

ImageWe have a robust internal reporting system in place, and are working to further increase its effectiveness by establishing group–wide reporting channels outside the workplace that are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in multiple languages and that accept anonymous calls. In order to ensure that employees at each group company are fully acquainted with these systems, hotline numbers and other relevant information are included on posters within each workplace and distributed to all employees on wallet–sized cards. Our policy is to exercise the utmost care to protect the confidentiality of those who submit reports, to ensure that they are not treated disadvantageously in terms of personnel matters, and to take strict measures against any violations, including with disciplinary actions. In fiscal 2020, Mizuho Financial Group and our core group companies received a total of 176 reports through our hotlines from both inside and outside the group, with the response status reported to our Audit Committee.

Internal Control and Audit Hotline

Our audit hotline, which connects to an external law office, is available to receive reports from both in and outside the company in connection with concerns regarding accounting and financial reports.

Reporting Items

Mizuho Financial Group has established a hotline to receive reports from in and outside the company in connection with problems concerning internal control and audits of accounts and financial reports.

Contact Point

This hotline has been established within an external law office. Reports can be made via postal mail or email.

Conventional mail: 12th Floor, Kasumigaseki Bldg., Kasumigaseki 3-2-5, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-6012 Mizuho Accounting Hotline, c/o Daiichi Fuyo Law Office
E–mail: kaikei–mizuho@daiichifuyo.gr.jp

 

  • When a report is received concerning the reporting items stipulated on the left, Mizuho Financial Group will make a reasonable effort to investigate the facts behind the information received and report back on the results.
  • Anonymous tips are also acceptable, but there are cases where it will not be possible to fully satisfy the intentions behind such tips owing to constraints on investigations and the inability to report back.
  • Information on persons making such reports is not disclosed to third parties other than the group companies except in cases where the assent of the person in question has been obtained or such disclosure is required under laws and ordinances.

Approaches to financial alternative dispute resolution (ADR)

In order to deal expeditiously, fairly, and appropriately with complaints and other feedback from customers, Mizuho Bank and Mizuho Trust & Banking have concluded a contract for the implementation of dispute resolution procedures with the Japanese Bankers Association, which is a designated dispute resolution institution as defined in Japan’s Banking Act. Mizuho Trust & Banking has also concluded a contract for the implementation of dispute resolution procedures with the Trust Companies Association of Japan, which is a designated dispute resolution institution as defined in Japan’s Trust Business Act and Act on Engagement in Trust Business by Financial Institutions. In addition, Mizuho Securities has concluded a contract for the implementation of dispute resolution procedures with the Financial Instruments Mediation Assistance Center, which is a designated dispute resolution institution as defined in Japan's Financial Instruments and Exchange Act.

The designated dispute resolution institution takes the steps toward resolution from a fair and neutral perspective in cases where the solutions to customers’ complaints adopted by our group companies are not accepted.

The designated dispute resolution institution as defined in Japan's Banking Act with which Mizuho Bank and Mizuho Trust & Banking have contracted

The Designated Dispute Resolution Institution Japanese Bankers Association
Contact Japanese Bankers Association Customer Relations Center
Tel: +81-(0)3-5252-3772

 

The designated dispute resolution institution as defined in Japan's Trust Business Act and Act on Engagement in Trust Business by Financial Institutions with which Mizuho Trust & Banking has contracted 

The Designated Dispute Resolution Institution                         Trust Companies Association of Japan
Contact Trust Consultation Center of the Trust Companies Association of Japan
Tel: +81-(0)3-6206-3988

 

The designated dispute resolution institution as defined in Japan's Financial Instruments and Exchange Act with which Mizuho Securities has contracted

The Designated Dispute Resolution Institution                Financial Instruments Mediation Assistance Center
Contact Financial Instruments Mediation Assistance Center consultation center
Tel: +81-(0)3-3669-9833

 

Governance Related Information
 

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