Mizuho’s shareholders rebuff proposal for blockchain-based dialogue platform

Maria Nikolova

The Japanese financial services giant is known for its passion for new technologies, but its shareholders do not seem to be in love with blockchain.

Most of FinanceFeeds’ readers are probably aware of how a typical report from an AGM looks like – an overwhelming vote of approval for a number of proposals, and (rarely) a couple of proposals being rejected. But not all shareholder meetings result in such reports and the most recent example of what may be seen as a shareholder revolt has been provided by Mizuho Financial Group, Inc. (TYO:8411).

Mizuho has earlier today published an extraordinary report concerning the 16th Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders of the Company held on June 22, 2018. Out of six proposals in total, five were rejected. One example of a rejected proposal is the one for a partial amendment to the Articles of Incorporation (preparation of a corporate ethics code regarding acts of purchasing sexual services from minors and other similar acts).

However, the proposal that is likely to strike one’s attention as being rejected is a proposal for a new blockchain-based system. Proposal “6” states: Partial amendment to the Articles of Incorporation (creating a platform for dialogue between shareholders and the company by using blockchain). Only 7% of the votes were cast in favor of this proposal.

This is pretty surprising given that Mizuho has been a fervent supporter of blockchain. As early as in February 2017, Mizuho said it had built a new application jointly with Cognizant Japan. This happened after the completion trials using blockchain technology in cross–border document sharing and a custom digital currency. The application is focused on enhancing collaboration across the Mizuho group through facilitating data sharing, as well as the issue and transfer of digital currency between Mizuho subsidiaries. The project was designed to test whether a business process as robust as the traditional centralized system can be built at a lower cost.

Mizuho said back then it would continue to look into and trial applications of blockchain technology in financial services with the intention of becoming an early adopter of the technology.

The company provided no details about the rationale behind the rejection of the blockchain-related proposal.

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