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Japan regulator to inspect three big banks in "yakuza" loans probe

A woman stands near a signboard of a branch bank of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group in Tokyo July 31, 2013. REUTERS/Issei Kato

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Financial Services Agency said on Tuesday it will start inspection of three major banks, including the country's top lender Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, from next week over possible transactions involving "yakuza" mobsters.

One of the banks, Mizuho Financial Group, has been under fire after regulators last month reprimanded it for failing to terminate loans to members of organised crime syndicates for more than two years after discovering them. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc, the third largest lender in terms of asset, is the third bank on the list for inspection.

On Monday, Mizuho said that the chairman of its banking unit resign while its president will take a six-month pay suspension following a loans-to-mobsters scandal that has embroiled Japan's second-biggest lender by assets.

(Reporting by Noriyuki Hirata; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)