日本振興銀捜索 偽りだった「中小企業の味方」

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jun. 15, 2010)
Small firms' 'protector' betrayed expectations
日本振興銀捜索 偽りだった「中小企業の味方」(6月14日付・読売社説)

A bank trumpeted as a "protector" of small and midsize companies when it was established in 2004 has been smeared by allegations of criminal irregularities.
 中小零細企業の味方というふれこみで設立された銀行は、まさに不正まみれだった。

The Financial Services Agency recently filed a criminal complaint against Incubator Bank of Japan, which specializes in providing loans to small and midsize firms. This prompted the Metropolitan Police Department to search the bank's head office and other locations last week on suspicion the bank had sabotaged an audit by the FSA, a violation of the Banking Law.
 金融庁が、中小企業向け融資を専門に手がける日本振興銀行を、立ち入り検査を妨害した銀行法違反(検査忌避)の疑いで、刑事告発した。これを受け警視庁が、振興銀の本店などを捜索した。

The FSA was quite right to file a complaint. We hope the police will thoroughly investigate the alleged wrongdoing and uncover the whole truth.
 金融庁が、告発に踏み切ったのは当然である。警視庁は徹底した捜査を行い、全容を解明してもらいたい。

Last month, the FSA ordered the bank to suspend part of its business for about four months after alleging its operations gravely violated the law. The agency followed this up with its criminal complaint last week.
 金融庁は先月、重大な法令違反があったとして、振興銀に約4か月の一部業務停止を命じた。これに続く告発である。

The financial watchdog's additional action suggests it believes the bank's operations were so malicious that an administrative punishment alone would not suffice.
行政処分だけでは不十分と判断するほど悪質ということだろう。

Former Bank of Japan official Takeshi Kimura and members of the Tokyo Junior Chamber International established the bank in 2004.
 振興銀は、日銀出身の木村剛氏が2004年、東京青年会議所のメンバーらと開業した。

By setting its interest rates higher than those offered by major commercial banks and providing loans without secured collateral, the bank touted itself as a financial institution catering to startup businesses with high growth potential.
 大手銀行よりは貸付金利が高いが、原則として無担保で、成長性のある新興企業などの金融を担うとしていた。

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Off to a bad start

However, the bank quickly ran into trouble. A string of executives resigned one after another due to differences over management policy.
 ところが、路線の違いで役員らの辞任が相次ぐなど、当初から経営は迷走状態に陥った。

Kimura became president in 2005 and started overseeing the bank's management by himself. The bank ran a profit for three consecutive business terms starting with the year to March 2007, but fell into the red in the term ended March 2010 with a loss of more than 5 billion yen. Kimura resigned in May to take responsibility for the bank's deteriorating performance.
 05年には、木村氏が社長に就任して、自ら経営に乗り出した。07年3月期決算から3年は黒字を出したものの、10年3月期に50億円超の赤字に転落したため、木村氏は引責辞任した。

Question marks hung over the feasibility of the bank's business model of concentrating on loans to small and midsize firms. On top of that, the FSA investigation has revealed the bank's operations actually differed considerably from the management principles it had put forward.
 中小企業専門というビジネスモデルそのものに無理があったうえに、金融庁の検査で、表向きの経営理念とかけ離れた業務の実情が明るみに出た。

For example, the bank allegedly purchased loan claims from financially strapped moneylenders while collecting commissions from them, and then asked these moneylenders to buy the loans back about a month later.
 例えば、資金繰りに困っている貸金業者から手数料を徴収して貸し出し債権を買い取り、約1か月後に買い戻させる取引だ。

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On a par with loan sharks

On the surface, this appears to be a simple transaction of loan claims. But the commission--which for all intents and purposes was interest--translated into an annual rate of 46 percent, far above the legally allowable ceiling. This would not be out of place in a loan-shark operation.
 見かけは債権の売買だが、金利にあたる手数料は、年利に換算して46%と、法律の上限をはるかに超える暴利だ。まるで、貸金業者相手の高利貸しである。

Moreover, the bank allegedly tried to dominate management of its clients by pressing them to have a majority of seats on their board of directors occupied by people the bank recommended. If the clients refused, the bank allegedly demanded increased collateral.
 このほか、融資先に対して、取締役の過半数は振興銀が推薦する人を就けるよう迫り、経営の支配を図った。拒否すれば担保の追加を求めたという。

The bank also is suspected to have covered up other irregularities, including the deletion of e-mails detailing its business transactions from the bank's server.
 業務に関する電子メールを削除するなど、一連の不正の隠蔽(いんぺい)工作もしていた。

Kimura was an adviser to the FSA from October 2002 to August 2003 under Heizo Takenaka during the administration of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. He was deeply involved in the nation's financial administration.
 木村氏は、小泉政権の竹中平蔵金融相のもと、金融庁顧問を務めるなど、国の金融行政に深くかかわった人物だ。

Kimura has resigned from the bank's management lineup. But he bears heavy responsibility for the alleged misconduct because he was closely involved in the bank's management for years as president and chairman.
 すでに経営陣から退いたとはいえ、社長、会長として長く振興銀を経営した責任は重い。

Kimura must cooperate fully with the police in their investigation. We also urge him to come clean in public by holding a press conference or using other avenues to speak about the bank scandals.
捜査への全面協力はもちろん、記者会見などで自ら説明すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 14, 2010)
(2010年6月14日01時45分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2010-06-15 06:53 | 英字新聞

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