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Compliance

Basic Approach

As the leading Japanese financial services group with a global presence and a broad customer base, we remain conscious of the importance of our social responsibilities and public mission at all times.

We define compliance as "the strict observance of all laws and regulations and the pursuit of fair and honest corporate activities that conform to the norms accepted by society" and view ongoing compliance as one of the basic principles of sound business management. Each of our group companies maintains its own compliance structure in line with the basic policies established by MHFG.

Compliance Structure

The President & CEO of MHFG, MHBK, MHTB and MHSC each generally oversees compliance matters of the respective company, and also heads their respective Compliance Committees at which important matters concerning compliance are discussed. The four companies also have individual compliance departments under a chief compliance officer. These departments are responsible for compliance planning and implementation and control overall compliance management at the respective companies.

At each organizational unit (such as branches and departments) at the four companies, the head of the unit is responsible for guidance and implementation related to compliance matters, and compliance officer or compliance administrator at each unit reviews the status of compliance.

MHFG 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.

Compliance Structure
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Compliance Activities

We have established the Mizuho Code of Conduct, which sets forth clear and concrete standards of ethical behavior, and distributed it to all managements 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 pursuing our business activities and the compliance activities required to follow. Each group company also conducts compliance training for managements and employees so that they are fully acquainted with the contents of the compliance manual.

We monitor the status of compliance levels through self assessments 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 management of the compliance framework, training and assessments. Progress of the compliance program is monitored every six months.

Efforts to Prevent Money Laundering, etc.

In response to an increase in international demands for anti–money laundering and countering terrorist financing in recent years, the Group has made the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing a top management priority, and implements measures based on common policies throughout the Group.

We take various measures on a global basis, such as performing customer due diligence/Know Your Customer (KYC) practices when establishing business relationships with customers, preventing transactions with subjects to asset freeze such as terrorists, and using monitoring systems etc. to detect and report suspicious transactions.

Severing Transactions with Anti–Social Elements

In order to prevent anti–social elements from influencing corporate management and to avoid any harm caused by them, MHFG established the "Mizuho Code of Conduct" which sets out a policy to sever any ties with anti–social elements that threaten the rule of law, public order, and safety.

MHFG, MHBK, MHTB and MHSC have each established an Anti–Social Elements Elimination Committee (chaired by the President & CEO), which takes action to sever relations with anti–social elements through group–wide cooperation.

Furthermore, major group companies maintain centralized departments or appoint an officer to manage anti–social element issues and make efforts to maintain effective frameworks, for example, by establishing a manual on how to manage such issues and conducting training sessions. If required for specific cases, we consult with third–party experts and authorities to handle the cases.

Measures for Further Compliance

The group places education and training for compliance as important measures for thoroughgoing compliance.

During fiscal 2016, Mizuho provided effective training to a broad range of employees, from management to staff levels. Those include conducting compliance training sessions for all employees; position–specific training for executive officers, general managers, deputy general managers, compliance officers, and others; and training sessions utilizing e–learning on various compliance themes that were conducted 13 times.

In addition, for executive officers, staff of the Compliance Group, and other positions that require particularly high levels of knowledge, we provide more extensive training sessions, including sessions taught by outside experts on themes related to changes in the economic and social environment.

Main training themes

  • Fiduciary duties
  • Management of customer information (firewall rules, etc.)
  • Severing relations with anti–social elements
  • Recent corporate scandals

The group works to ensure full compliance through training and other programs, but detecting information related to compliance and taking appropriate action are also important issues. When the group becomes aware of compliance issues, the compliance manual requires that such matters be reported immediately to department and branch managers, and consultations are held. Furthermore, we have established a hotline that links to the Compliance Department, an external law office, and a professional service company, for direct reporting by employees.

For issues concerning internal controls and audits of accounts and financial reports, we have also established a hotline within an external law office to receive reports from inside and outside the company.

Mizuho's Internal Reporting Systems (Compliance Hotline)

MHFG has established an internal reporting system, and is working to increase its effectiveness by establishing group–wide reporting channels outside the workplace that are available in the evenings, on Saturdays and Sundays, and makes such services available in foreign languages. We are also working to make employees of each group company fully acquainted with these systems by hanging posters and distributing pocket cards with contact points indicated to all employees. Of note, MHFG and its core group companies received a total of 157 reports from a hotline both inside and outside the group in fiscal 2016, with the response status reported to MHFG's Audit Committee.

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Internal poster to make employees aware of the internal reporting systems

"Internal Controls and Audit Hotline" for Accounting or Auditing Matters

In addition to these reporting systems, MHFG has established a hotline within an external law office to receive reports from in and outside the company in connection with problems concerning internal controls and audits of accounts 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.