Olympus has today apologised to customers and shareholders for all the ‘distress and trouble’ sparked by the ongoing financial controversy, and pledged to ‘restore trust’.

In a statement on its website, new Olympus president Shuichi Takayama said: ‘We wish to make a profound apology for all the distress and trouble caused due to the recent series of media reports and fall in stock prices triggered by our recent change in President.’

He added: ‘The past acquisitions mentioned in the media were handled with the appropriate evaluations and procedures. These transactions were in no way improper and we are setting up an external panel of experts to examine and report on this acquisitions activity…

‘We sincerely hope to conclude this situation as quickly as possible to restore society’s trust in us and to bring reassurance to our customers, business partners, shareholders and employees. Thank you for your continued understanding and support.’

Last night Olympus announced details of the third-party panel it has set up to look into payments made to financial advisers, which lie at the heart of the crisis.

Earlier today Olympus insisted that the FBI has not been in touch with the firm, despite numerous reports suggesting otherwise.

Michael Woodford, the former CEO who was fired after questioning fees paid to financial advisers, had yet to respond to our request for comment at the time of writing.

The FBI’s New York office has yet to return our calls.