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Japan's best bank for SMEs 2021: Mizuho


The Mizuho group had a difficult 2021. The smallest of the three Japanese megabanks, the firm was plagued by major IT problems. In February 2021, its ATMs swallowed more than 5,000 cash cards and passbooks. A month later, 300 foreign currency money transfers were delayed because of a hardware failure. A few IT glitches later, Mizuho Financial Group’s chief executive Tatsufumi Sakai said he would step down in April 2022.

However, despite these troubles, Mizuho’s financial performance and its focus on SMEs have not waivered. For the first half of the financial year, which began on April 1, 2021, Mizuho’s net income was ¥386 billion ($3.4 billion), up 79% year on year, while net interest income rose by 8% to ¥474 billion.

Part of the growth came from Mizuho’s SME business, which sits under the retail and business banking company (RBC).

The RBC corporate loan book dipped slightly to ¥15.8 trillion for the period ending in September 2021, from ¥16.2 trillion the previous year, but it still exceeded the ¥15.6 trillion recorded at the end of March 2020, when Covid-19 made its way around the globe.