Press Conference by ASO Taro, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, and Minister of State for Financial Services
(Friday, September 10, 2021, 12:03 pm to 12:14 pm)
[Questions and answers:]
Mizuho Bank had another system failure involving ATMs on September 8. This is the bank's seventh system failure this year. What do you think of this? Does this incident exert any influence on the schedule or content of the administrative disposition for Mizuho Bank?
Mizuho had system failures four times in February and March, right?
The recent one was the seventh.
Four times in February and March, twice in August, and this was the seventh. Suspension of cash withdrawal services is serious for banks, which are an essential social infrastructure. The failures were repeated, and furthermore, causes of the failures differ each time. In that sense, the bank must take fundamental measures. This is a matter of an individual bank, and I refrain from telling about our concrete action at present. Anyhow, the bank submitted a report to the FSA and should take required measures based on the report.
SBI Holdings announced that it would commence a tender offer to acquire shares of Shinsei Bank, but some suggest the possibility that this would turn out to be a hostile TOB as Shinsei Bank had not received prior notice. What do you think as the minister in charge of financial services?
I guess you dared to ask such a question, as is often the case. You know that this is a matter between private companies and still dared to ask for my comment. My answer is always the same. I will refrain from making any specific comments.
You said that you would not make comments on individual companies' shares, but I will ask you about the injection of public funds to Shinsei Bank, not about the bank's shares. The national government considers that it is necessary to collect the remaining 350 billion yen by selling Shinsei Bank's shares in order to prevent a further burden on the public. When converting that value into a share price of Shinsei Bank, it becomes 7,500 yen per share. This share price is five times yesterday's closing price, or nearly four times the TOB price, far deviating from the market rate. Do you think that the gap will be diminished as a result of the increase in SBI's stake and the appointment of Former FSA Commissioner Gomi, who has been deeply involved in financial administration, as chairman of Shinsei Bank? If the gap is not diminished, do you think of reconsidering the sales price as one option?
The national government injected public funds at the time of bankruptcy of the Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan, the predecessor to Shinsei Bank, and as long as public funds have been injected, it is of course necessary for the national government to secure the bank's common shares it holds as claims. This is true as you mentioned. The national government holds approximately 20% of the bank's shares as a shareholder, I think, but the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Japan and the Resolution and Collection Corporation should assume primary responsibility for deliberating this issue appropriately. Therefore, I think that the FSA needs to discuss it with those organizations. And you also talked about Mr. Gomi. He used to be the FSA Commissioner. I will not make any specific comments on him, but generally speaking, directors of banks need to have knowledge and experience regarding management and operations of banks, and banks need directors with such knowledge and experience in order to obtain social credibility. It is not a task that can be fulfilled by non-professional persons. Anyway, these are personal matters and I will refrain from making any comments.
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