Security & Fraud

Authorities Demand Accounting Details From Germany’s Wirecard 

Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, Wirecard, Germany, bookkeeping, investigation, financial times

After trying to discredit a report about its dodgy accounting practices, Germany-based Wirecard is facing demands from analysts for comprehensive information about its bookkeeping practices, The Financial Times (FT) reported on Wednesday (Oct. 16).

The report about the digital payments company’s suspect accounting resulted from an FT investigation released on Tuesday (Oct. 15). Wirecard then accused the Financial Times of market manipulation, which the news outlet rejects. These claims have led to an investigation by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority — known as BaFin — which serves as Germany’s regulatory authority.

The FT report — using documents allegedly provided by a whistleblower — seemed to reveal a collaborative effort to overstate earnings at Wirecard subsidiaries in Dubai and Dublin. The release of the report caused Wirecard’s stock prices to fall as much as 13 percent in early trading.

The report comes after the news outlet published a series of stories earlier this year alleging fraud and false accounting at Wirecard’s Singapore office and that a key Middle East unit was not properly audited.

The accusations center on Wirecard’s partner, Dubai-based Al Alam Solutions. The report alleges that Wirecard routed billions of euros in payments for 34 clients through Al Alam Solutions in 2016 and 2017.

Wirecard issued a statement denying the allegations and said that conclusions drawn by the FT regarding the documents were “not correct.”

Earlier this year, the Financial Times published separate reports accusing Wirecard of accounting fraud, which the payments company also vehemently denied.

Wirecard subsequently announced plans to file a lawsuit against the Financial Times, which was filed in Munich in March. The company also said in February that an external law firm, which conducted an investigation into the FT’s previous allegations, found no criminal wrongdoing by any of its employees.

The FT’s previous report led to regulators in Singapore raiding Wirecard operations, and opening their own investigation into the matter. A FinTech Futures report in March said Wirecard CEO Markus Braun noted that a single accounting employee was under investigation by Singapore police and that the employee had been put on leave.

 

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