Germany to strengthen regulator after Wirecard debacle

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s finance minister on Tuesday unveiled plans to strengthen the country’s financial supervisory authority following the accounting scandal at payment systems provider Wirecard, promising that the agency will gain “bite.”

Olaf Scholz’s ministry had announced on Friday that regulator BaFin’s president, Felix Hufeld, was stepping down to make possible a “new beginning” at the top. BaFin’s executive director for securities supervision, Elisabeth Roegele, is also leaving.

One-time tech star Wirecard filed for protection from creditors through insolvency proceedings in June after admitting that 1.9 billion euros ($2.3 billion) that was supposedly held in trust accounts in the Philippines probably did not exist.

German authorities have been criticized for failing to step in sooner despite reports of irregularities dating back at least five years.


“I want a financial supervisor with bite,” said Scholz, who is also Germany’s vice chancellor, as he presented his reform plans for BaFin. “I

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EU Watchdog Slams Germany for Lapses in Wirecard Fraud | Investing News

By Huw Jones and John O’Donnell

LONDON/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany failed to do enough to avert the Wirecard fraud, the European Union’s markets watchdog said on Tuesday as it delivered a highly critical verdict on the country’s handling of its biggest post-war corporate scam.

Wirecard’s former Chief Executive Markus Braun and other executives have been held on suspicion of running a criminal racket that defrauded creditors of 3.2 billion euros ($3.73 billion).

Those accused, including Braun, deny any wrongdoing.

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) began a fast-track review in July into how Germany’s markets regulator BaFin and the country’s accounting watchdog the Financial Reporting Enforcement Panel (FREP) enforced EU transparency rules governing company information for markets and investors.

ESMA said in a rare 190-page rebuke of another regulator that it found a number of deficiencies, inefficiencies and legal and procedural impediments relating to BaFin’s independence from issuers and

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German ministers face grilling over Wirecard collapse

Frankfurt am Main (AFP) – Germany’s finance and economy ministers will be grilled by lawmakers on Wednesday about the massive fraud scandal that brought down payments provider Wirecard, amid criticism that authorities failed to act on early warning signs.

Wirecard filed for insolvency last month after admitting that 1.9 billion euros ($2.2 billion) missing from its accounts did not exist.

Former CEO Markus Braun has been arrested on suspicion of falsifying accounts and market manipulation.

The Wirecard revelations have stunned Germany, drawing comparisons with the Enron accounting scandal in the United States almost two decades ago.

Germany’s parliamentary finance committee has asked Finance Minister Olaf Scholz and Economy Minister Peter Altmaier to attend a closed door special hearing to shed light on the saga from 1400 GMT.

Questions are likely to focus on when exactly government officials and regulators learned of accounting irregularities at Wirecard, and if there were any

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Former Wirecard CEO Markus Braun was arrested for a 2nd time in relation to the company’s $2 billion accounting scandal

2020 07 09T000000Z_470162734_RC2LPH9XW46N_RTRMADP_3_WIRECARD ACCOUNTS COLLAPSE.JPG
2020 07 09T000000Z_470162734_RC2LPH9XW46N_RTRMADP_3_WIRECARD ACCOUNTS COLLAPSE.JPG

Reuters

  • Wirecard’s former chief executive Markus Braun has been rearrested in Munich as German prosecutors dug deeper into allegations of fraud at the fintech firm.

  • Two other executives — revealed by the Financial Times as Wirecard’s former finance boss, Burkhard Ley, and Stephan von Erffa, ex-head of accounting — were also arrested.

  • Former chief operating officer, Jan Marsalek, has likely escaped to Russia with the “clear help of Russian intelligence,” two officials told Business Insider. 

  • Wirecard filed for insolvency a month ago soon after revealing an amount of 1.9 billion euros ($2 billion) was missing from its balance sheet, and likely never existed.

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Former Wirecard CEO Markus Braun has been arrested for the second time as German prosecutors probed further into a fraud investigation surrounding the company’s reputedly inflated balance sheet.

Two other executives — named

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