Crime prevention

Mizuho, as part of its social responsibility as a bank, is working aggressively to implement a wide range of measures against money laundering, terrorist financing, and losses as a result of illicit deposit withdrawals using cash cards (ATM cards), Internet banking, etc. and bank transfer fraud.

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, 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.

Initiatives to prevent losses as a result of illicit deposit withdrawals

Transition from regular cash cards (ATM cards) to smart IC cards

Mizuho Bank has substantially expanded its lineup of IC cash cards (ATM cards), including Mizuho Mileage Club Card and is actively issuing IC cash cards (ATM cards), which are considered more difficult to counterfeit than conventional magnetic stripe cards.

Biometric authentication via finger vein patterns

Mizuho Bank has adopted a biometric authentication system that identifies customers based on data of their vein patterns, which differ from one individual to another. To encourage a wider range of customers to use biometrics, Mizuho has installed in all the ATM areas, ATMs which have this identification feature.

IC cash card (ATM card)

Sticker indicating an ATM can provide biometric authentication.

Internet banking

Recently, there has been an increase in losses as a result of illicit deposit withdrawals using Internet banking.

For individual customers, Mizuho Bank has introduced a transaction authentication function*1 and an e–mail method*2 both of which involve the use of a one–time password. In addition, Mizuho Bank is working to provide its customers greater peace of mind through measures such as monitoring banking activity 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to detect suspicious transactions and offering antivirus software at no charge to its customers.

For corporate customers, Mizuho Bank has introduced a function that separates the authority for approving bank transfers from the authority for preparing such transfer data. In addition to "double approval" function, where two people with approval authority must give approval for transactions, Mizuho Bank also provides anti–virus software at no charge to its customers, and has introduced IC cards for electronic certificate and a transaction authentication function*1. The aim of undertaking these measures is to strengthen security and give customers greater peace of mind.

*1    Transaction authentication function
This is a strong security measure, and it is used for transfer to non–registered transfer destination.
When you enter the account number of the transfer destination using the dedicated card or smart phone app, a one–time password will be issued. This one–time password and the transfer account number are linked, and confirmation of the transfer destination is achieved when specified by the customer. Illegal remittance due to illegal rewriting of the transfer destination or account information can be prevented.


*2   E–mail method one–time password
When a transaction, including a transfer, is to be made from customers' accounts, and the Mizuho Bank system judges that there is a possibility that some party other than the authorized person has accessed the system, Mizuho Bank sends an identification number to the customers' registered e–mail address. This number must be input to proceed with the transaction. This e–mail method has proved to be effective in preventing illicit deposit withdrawals.

Activities to prevent losses to customer due to bank transfer fraud

Recently the number of incidents where customers incur losses due to bank transfer fraud has been rising. Examples often mentioned are where the party with criminal intent calls a party at home, posing as his or her child or grandchild, and requests the party to hand over or transfer a certain amount of money to an account. In other cases, the caller poses as a police officer or employee of a bankers' association and asks for cash or the cash card (ATM card) of a party being deceived. In other cases, the caller poses as an employee of the pension offices, pretends to return medical expenses, and makes a party remit a fund. Another tactic is to pose as a brokerage, offer to sell bonds, pre–listed shares, etc., and cheat a party out of his or her money.

Mizuho Bank and Mizuho Trust & Banking are stepping up their activities to prevent these incidents by having bank branch employees say a word of warning as they monitor customers at teller windows and ATMs. Other activities are preparation of posters, flyers, website messages, ATM screen messages, etc. that warn customers about these deceptive practices. Also, at the time of opening an account, Mizuho Bank works to prevent the opening of accounts that can be abused for bank transfer fraud by checking the identity in line with laws and regulations and checking the purpose of opening the account.

At each of the branches of Mizuho Bank and Mizuho Trust & Banking, the above–mentioned activities are being continued to prevent such incidents in advance.

Mizuho is providing compensation and providing allocations based on various relevant legal provisions.

Mizuho Bank provides advice on compensation to individual customers who are victimized by illicit deposit withdrawals.

Based on the Depositor Protection Law*1, Mizuho Bank and Mizuho Trust & Banking provide compensation for losses caused by counterfeited or stolen cash cards (ATM cards).

Mizuho provides compensation to those who have been victimized as a result of stolen passbooks and illicit deposit withdrawals using the Internet banking, based on "Arrangements Agreed Upon and Announced by the Japanese Bankers Association."*2

Mizuho Securities provide compensation for losses caused by counterfeited or stolen cash cards (ATM cards) based on self–regulatory rules of the Japan Securities Dealers Association*3

*1   Depositor Protection Law
"Act on Protection, etc. of Depositors and Postal Saving Holders from Unauthorized Automated Withdrawal etc. Using Counterfeit Cards, etc. and Stolen Cards, etc." (Effective February 2006)

*2   Arrangements Agreed Upon and Announced by the Japanese Bankers Association
Arrangements regarding compensation for losses incurred in connection with transfers under false pretenses using stolen passbooks and Internet banking. (Disclosed February 2008)

*3   Self–regulatory rules of the Japan Securities Dealers Association Regulation in relation to protection of customers from unauthorized withdrawals using counterfeited or stolen cash cards (ATM cards) (Announced February 2006)

Initiatives to deal with losses as a result of bank transfer fraud

Based on the "Law for Dealing with Deceptive Transfer Practices"*, allocations are made from the accounts used for deceptive practices to help victims to recover from losses incurred as a result of such practices. Mizuho Bank has established a specialized consultation desk and facilitates smooth implementation of the law.

*   Note: Law for Providing Relief from Deceptive Transfer Practices
"Act on Damage Recovery Benefit Distributed from Funds in Bank Accounts Used for Crimes" (Effective June 2008)

Consultation Desks

In addition to consultation desks in bank branches, the following specialized advisory services are available:

For seeking compensation for losses as a result of illicit deposit withdrawals

  • Mizuho Bank Customers:
    Security Support Center
  • Mizuho Trust & Banking Customers
    Compliance Support Department

For payment of funds to recover from losses as a result of bank transfer fraud

  • Mizuho Bank Customers
    Call Center for Customers Who Are Victims of Bank Transfer Fraud
  • Mizuho Trust & Banking Customers
    Financial Crimes Compliance Department

*   Business hours: Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm (Except bank holidays)
     Available only in Japanese language

Back to top