July 1, 2008
Financial Services Agency

Statement by Yoshimi Watanabe, Minister for Financial Services, on the end of the Special Public Management of Ashikaga Bank

Today, all outstanding shares in Ashikaga Bank are being transferred from the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Japan. to Ashikaga Holdings Corporation of Japan, Ltd., marking the end of the special public management of the bank under the Deposit Insurance Act and representing its fresh start as an ordinary regional bank.

We hope that the Nomura-Next Group (*) and Ashikaga Holdings Co., Ltd., in their capacity as shareholders of Ashikaga Bank, will ensure appropriate governance of the bank so that it can exercise its financial intermediary function in Tochigi Prefecture and the surrounding areas on a sustainable and continuous basis.

The Financial Services Agency, for its part, will implement a follow-up review of the implementation of Ashikaga Bank's business plan and properly supervise Ashikaga Holdings as well as Ashikaga Bank in order to ensure that Ashikaga Bank continues to fully exercise its financial intermediary function in their local areas and maintains sound business operations.

(*) The Nomura-Next Group is a consortium comprised mainly of Nomura Financial Partners Co., Ltd. and Next Capital Partners Co., Ltd.

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