German watchdog chief calls Wirecard scandal a 'massive criminal act' | HT Tech

German watchdog chief calls Wirecard scandal a 'massive criminal act'

BaFin, which oversaw Wirecard's banking subsidiary, has defended its role after taking much of the flak so far for the scandal.

By:REUTERS
| Updated on: Jul 02 2020, 21:40 IST
Wirecard, which disclosed a $2.1 billion hole in its books, is the first member of the DAX stock index to go bust, barely two years after winning a spot among Germany's top 30 listed companies.
Wirecard, which disclosed a $2.1 billion hole in its books, is the first member of the DAX stock index to go bust, barely two years after winning a spot among Germany's top 30 listed companies. (REUTERS)

The head of Germany's financial watchdog on Thursday called the accounting scandal at Wirecard "a massive criminal act", while Deutsche Bank said it was considering support for the collapsed payments company's banking unit.

The comments from BaFin president Felix Hufeld are his most outspoken yet about Wirecard, which last week filed for insolvency owing creditors almost $4 billion after disclosing a 1.9 billion euro ($2.1 billion) hole in its accounts that auditor EY said was the result of a sophisticated global fraud.

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"It is plain vanilla, old-fashioned criminal behaviour," Hufeld said in an online panel discussion.

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Germany's largest bank said it was working with BaFin and Wirecard's insolvency administrator on the possible support for Wirecard Bank.

"We are in principle prepared to provide this support in the context of a continuation of business operations, if such assistance should become necessary," Deutsche Bank said.

Wirecard's insolvency manager Michael Jaffe said that Wirecard Bank continued to operate, but six German subsidiaries of Wirecard have also applied for insolvency proceedings.

"Wirecard Bank AG is not insolvent. Payouts to merchants and customers of Wirecard Bank are being executed without restrictions", Jaffe said in a statement.

Meanwhile, some of Wirecard's customers and partners are breaking ties.

Discount supermarket chain Aldi Sued, a major customer, said on Thursday that Wirecard was no longer processing its credit card payments as of July 1. 

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First Published Date: 02 Jul, 21:40 IST
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