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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 & CEOs 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 relevant President & CEO.

The four core group companies also have individual compliance departments overseen by a Chief Compliance Officer. 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 when necessary.
Compliance at subsidiaries of our core group companies is monitored and managed by their respective parent company.

Compliance structure
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Compliance practices

The Mizuho Code of Conduct sets forth clear and concrete standards of ethical behavior, and is distributed to all executive officers and employees of the group. 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 regards to our business operations and the compliance practices we are required to follow. Each group company also conducts compliance training for executive officers and employees so that they are fully acquainted with the content of the compliance manual.

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.

Preventing money laundering and financing of terrorism

Financial crime is becoming more diverse and sophisticated, and acts of terrorism continue to occur around the world. In light of this, anti–money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) are becoming increasingly important. Against this backdrop, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will carry out its fourth round of mutual evaluation for Japan in 2019, with the objective of reviewing the technical compliance of Japan's money laundering–related laws and regulations and the effectiveness of Japan's countermeasures.
In preparation for the evaluation, Japan's Financial Services Agency has issued the Guidelines for Anti–Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism, and financial institutions in Japan are making an effort to improve their countermeasures. 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 industry–specific, in–depth discussions on this subject, in addition to other initiatives we are implementing on a group–wide 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, which are chaired by the President & CEOs or other senior management members of these group companies.

Furthermore, core group companies maintain centralized departments or appoint an officer to manage anti–organized 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 2018, Mizuho provided effective training tailored to employees working in a broad range of roles within the organization. We conducted 11 training sessions in total, including mandatory compliance training sessions for all employees; role–specific training for executive officers, general managers, deputy 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
    • 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)

We 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 in the evenings, on Saturdays and Sundays, and also by making such services available in foreign languages. In order to ensure that employees at each group company are fully acquainted with these systems, hotline numbers and other relevant information is included on posters within each workplace and distributed to all employees on wallet–sized cards. In fiscal 2018, Mizuho Financial Group and our core group companies received a total of 159 reports through our hotlines from both inside and outside the group, with the response status reported to our Audit Committee.

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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

MHFG has established a hotline to receive reports from in and outside the company in connection with problems concerning internal controls and audits of accounts and financial reports.

Contact Point

This hotline has been established within an external law office. Please use conventional mail or e–mail for reporting.

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 reported matters are within the scope of the reporting items, MHFG will do reasonable efforts 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, etc.