Mizuho will cut 3,000 jobs as Japanese banks battle weak demand for credit at home and a tough global growth environment, which saw half-year profits at the lender and smaller rival Sumitomo Mitsui fall by a quarter. Mizuho Financial Group said yesterday it plans to axe the jobs, about five per cent of its workforce, by March 2016 through merging its corporate and retail banking units. First-half profits at Japan’s second-biggest lender by assets slid, as the previous year's bond trading gains slowed. Third-ranked Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG), whose profits also fell 25 per cent, also said it will buy back up to ¥50bn (£31.4bn) worth of its shares, or 1.63 per cent of its outstanding stock. The news of job cuts follows a raft of redundancies announced at leading Japanese brokerages Nomura and Daiwa.