Mizuho Bank is reshuffling senior global trade finance executives, apparently in its efforts to take up market positions vacated particularly by Western banks due to increased anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CFT) requirements.

The executive reshuffle comes nine years after the Japanese bank established its trade finance department, and signals a new stage of the department’s expansion.

Executive moves
Mizuho had already announced that it would increase its workforce in Singapore by 50 per cent from 600 to 900 employees in the next three years, with a substantial number of the new jobs expected to be in the trade finance department.

Now it has announced executive moves such as the appointment of Masahiro Goda to the newly created Japan-based role of executive director of global trade finance. He was previously general manager of the global trade finance division for the Asia Oceania department since its creation in 2006.

Motoo Matsumoto meanwhile will take on the London-based role of head of the bank’s global trade finance division for the Europe, Middle East and Africa. He previously worked as deputy general manager of one of Mizuho’s trade finance teams.

Asian expansion
Misato Yoshida of Mizuho’s business development and risk management team in the global trade finance division said the moves follow a bank review that decided to bolster staffing capacity in Japan, Singapore, Sydney, Bangkok and Mumbai.

He added that the bank is also looking to establish a trade finance team in Vietnam.

AML concerns
Mizuho’s expansion of its trade finance department contrasts with the withdrawal, particularly by Western banks, from the Asian trade finance market. The Royal Bank of Scotland recently said it would wind down its non-UK and Western European trade finance offering.

Banks including HSBC and JP Morgan have also decreased their market footprint in several countries, particularly those perceived as too risky in the light of tougher AML and CFT regulations.