Wirecard scandal: Spotlight shifts to Germany's financial regulator

Wirecard AG files for insolvency

Still, the durability of these industries meant the firm survived the early-2000s dotcom crash, and as online commerce became ever-increasingly standardised, and Wirecard's credibility and scale grew in turn.

Wirecard collapsed on Thursday owing creditors nearly $4 billion after disclosing a gaping hole in its books that its longtime auditor EY blamed on a sophisticated global fraud.

Wirecard provides the technology to companies and consumers to make cashless payments, a growing and competitive market globally.

It comes after the German firm last week disclosed a €1.9bn (£1.7bn) hole in its accounts.

The final nail in the coffin came last Thursday when auditors Ernst & Young said they were unable to find 1.9 billion euros of cash in the company's accounts.

- Wirecard's crisis deepened when it said on Monday that the missing sums it had booked in its accounts likely never existed.

Trading in the company's shares, which have lost more than 95% of their value within days, was suspended in Frankfurt.

- In February 2019, Singapore police said they were looking into reports by the Financial Times of alleged financial irregularities at Wirecard's local office, allegations that had driven its shares sharply lower.

Shares in the company have shed up to 90 percent in a week. "A scandal like Wirecard is a wake-up call that we need more monitoring and oversight than we have today", he said.

Of that amount, Wirecard has borrowed €1.75 billion from 15 banks - including Commerzbank, ABN Amro, LBBW and ING - and €500 million from bond investors. The reason for this is that Wirecard Card Solutions is an entirely separate entity that is based on the United Kingdom and regulated by its financial authorities.

"It is frightening how long Wirecard AG was able to operate without being objected to by the auditors", partner Wolfgang Schirp said.

Wirecard AG, the crypto card issuer and global payments provider based in Munich, filed for insolvency on June 25, 2020.

The insolvency also raises questions on the future of Wirecard's licences. Wirecard denied the report and sued the Financial Times, claiming that the media outlet was trying to manipulate the market.

Germany's state-owned development bank KfW is facing potential losses of €100 million (US$112 million or RM481.42 million) after payment company Wirecard AG filed for insolvency on Thursday.

Banking supervision chief Felix Hufeld has admitted that the watchdog Bafin "had not been effective enough to prevent something like this from happening".

At one point, prosecutors in Munich even launched an investigation against one of the FT's journalists.

The Philippines' Justice Minister Menardo Guevarra said that former Wirecard chief operating officer Jan Marsalek was briefly in the Philippines on his way to China, apparently fleeing the repercussions of the scandal.



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