MIZUHO Financial is seeking to strengthen its M&A advisory and equity underwriting operations in the US in a bid to tap the largest investment banking fee pool globally, reported Reuters.

The Japanese lender has expanded its debt underwriting capabilities in the US in recent years following its purchase of Royal Bank of Scotland’s North American corporate loan portfolio.

According to Mizuho Financial chief executive Masahiro Kihara, the bank is yet to fully tap the M&A advisory and equity underwriting segments in the US investment banking space.

Kihara told the news agency in an interview: “We are now compiling our strategy and analysing to what extent we can grow organically.”

The bank is currently looking at various aspects including “which industry sectors to focus, how to extend analyst coverage and how to build collaboration with its sales and trading teams,” he added.

Japanese lenders have been targeting growth opportunities outside the country due to ultra-low interest rates at home.

Mizuho, the third-largest bank in the country, has been strengthening its focus on Asia and the US.

Last month, a report by Bloomberg News said that the bank is aiming to almost double the count of its wealth management clients by next year in order to take advantage of the new millionaires who have modest cash income and need finance beyond their startups.

Kihara took the helm of the bank in February this year after former chief executive Tatsufumi Sakai and three other senior executives were forced to resign following a series of technical system failures.  

Japan’s banking regulator issued a business improvement order on the bank in connection with the system glitches.

Previously, Mizuho was given business improvement orders from the regulator in 2002 and 2011 in connection with similar system failures.