Orient president to forgo pay for 6 months over loan scandal

Orient Corp. said Friday its president and chairman will forgo their pay for six months in connection with shady loans extended to members of organized crime groups by Mizuho Bank via the consumer credit company.

"I deeply apologize for upsetting the public," President Masayuki Saito said at a news conference as he announced the penalties imposed on him and Chairman Yoshimasa Nishida.

Mizuho Bank and its parent, Mizuho Financial Group Inc., have admitted to more than 200 million yen ($2.04 million) in such loans through Orient, a group company of Mizuho Bank, mostly in the form of auto loans.

Of 147 cases in which Mizuho Bank asked Orient for repayment, at least three cases involved so-called antisocial forces, according to Orient.

The scandal came to light in late September when the Financial Services Agency ordered Mizuho Bank to improve its operations after the bank left the matter unattended for over two years.

The major lender imposed internal disciplinary measures, mostly pay cuts and waivers, against 54 current and former executives.