SMBC Nikko president apologizes for arrests of employees

Jiji Press
SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. President and CEO Yuichiro Kondo apologizes at the end of a press conference in Tokyo on Saturday.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. President and CEO Yuichiro Kondo on Saturday apologized for the arrests Friday of four employees of the major Japanese brokerage house on suspicion of market manipulation.

“We take seriously and deeply regret the fact that we caused a situation that could undermine market confidence,” Kondo told a press conference held at the Tokyo headquarters of SMBC Nikko, a unit of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. .

“My responsibility is to make all-out efforts to regain trust,” Kondo said, refraining from commenting on whether he would resign over the matter.

On Friday, the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office’s special investigation team arrested Trevor Hill, 51-year-old senior managing executive officer and head of the equity department at SMBC Nikko, and three other employees of the company.

The investigation team searched SMBC Nikko’s Tokyo headquarters on Friday evening.

On the same day, SMBC Nikko established an inquiry committee consisting of legal professionals to conduct a factual investigation into the case and devise necessary measures.