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Suruga Bank must get to the bottom of ‘share house’ debacle

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Massive irregularities have come to light in connection with loans provided by Suruga Bank Ltd., based in Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture, prompting the bank to set up a third-party investigative committee.

The exact nature of the problem must be thoroughly uncovered and all responsible parties identified.

Central to this case were loans made to investors in a "share house" program organized by a real estate agent. ("Share house" is a Japanese expression denoting rental housing where multiple tenants have their own rooms but share common facilities, such as the kitchen and bathroom.)

What happened was that copies of the passbooks of bank customers applying for a loan to invest in this project were falsified to "improve" the customers' financial health, or, in some cases, the prices of the properties they purchased were inflated on paper.

When such investors found out they were not getting the monthly returns from rents they had been promised........

© The Asahi Shimbun