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Japan bank mishandled postal shareholder votes for 1,000 firms

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank Ltd.’s omission to tally all mailed-in ballots for firms including Toshiba Corp. didn’t affect the results of shareholder resolutions at the gatherings, said the person, who wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly ahead of an official disclosure.

The Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. unit is expected Tokyo escorts to admit that its vote-counting procedure was inappropriate and may have infringed on shareholders’ rights. It is believed that such errors have persisted for over 20 years.

The trust bank has been outsourcing the vote-counting work to Japan Stockholders Data Service Co., a joint firm set up with Mizuho Trust & Banking Co., a unit of Mizuho Financial Group Inc.

Japan remains heavily reliant on mail-in voting for shareholder meetings. Only 14 percent of institutional investor votes were cast digitally in the nation in 2017, while more than 90 percent were done that way in the U.S. and U.K., according to the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry.

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust will hold a news conference to explain its findings, the Nikkei newspaper reported earlier.

“We will make an announcement escorts in Tokyo as soon as our investigation is completed,” bank spokesman Masaki Iwatsu said by phone.

The bank has been investigating the vote-handling process after a Toshiba shareholder said their ballot wasn’t reflected in the tally even though they sent it three days before the deadline for the July 31 meeting.

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