Mizuho to Board Fintech Express

Yasuhiro Sato, President and CEO Mizuho

Yasuhiro Sato, President and CEO Mizuho

finews.asia reported last week that the Japanese Government had passed legislation aimed at accelerating growth in the country's laggard financial technology sector. Banking giant Mizuho now aims to catch up.

Less than a week since the Diet in Japan passed the bill, Tokyo headquartered Mizuho is said to be ready to inject up to $100 million into a prospective fintech fund. That may have been expected given the lack of spending to date by all the major Japanese banks in fintech due to the legal restrictions.

However what makes the Mizuho fintech passion very interesting is the promise by Yasuhiro Sato, the President and CEO, that the decision making will be quick. According to an article in the «Financial Times» (paywall) Mizuho will target the U.S. for fintech targets particularly in the areas of big data processing and artificial intelligence.

Sato's Weapon

The CEO believes Mizuho's advantages include a close relationship with SoftBank, the tech and telecoms group, which has provided access to fintech players and its ability to move fast. Sato said, «The key issue is speedy decision making, and the fact that I myself will decide on the acquisitions. That is a weapon for us.»

finews.asia reported that banking law in Japan will be amended, allowing Japanese banks to exceed the 5 percent voting rights limit in a non-financial company. For the time being, Fintech startups are classified as «non-financial companies». 

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