Deutsche Bank CEO evaluating help for Wirecard Bank By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of Wirecard AG is pictured at its headquarters in Aschheim

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Deutsche Bank (DE:)’s chief executive said on Tuesday it was too early to say how it might help Wirecard Bank, the banking wing of collapsed payments firm Wirecard.

Germany’s largest bank said last week that it was working with financial watchdog BaFin and Wirecard’s administrator on possible support for Wirecard Bank.

While it was “too early to judge” how Deutsche Bank may be involved, CEO Christian Sewing said it was “almost an obligation” to look at Wirecard Bank for opportunities or to stabilise it given his company’s focus on transaction banking,

“We all now need transparency and that’s the first task,” Sewing told a webcast event organised by Bloomberg News.

Deutsche Bank said last week that it was ready in principle to support Wirecard Bank “in the context of a continuation of business operations” if assistance became necessary.

Wirecard filed for insolvency last month owing creditors 4 billion euros ($4.51 billion) after disclosing a 1.9 billion euro hole in its accounts that its auditor EY said was the result of a sophisticated global fraud.

Sewing said Deutsche Bank’s exposure was very limited.

Separately, European Union finance ministers are due to discuss stronger regulation of payment providers at meeting this week, a German government official said.

“Europe-wide rules are urgently required,” the official added. Germany’s regulation of Wirecard has come under intense scrutiny since the rapid demise of the former fintech star.

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Germany’s Scholz wants more power for financial watchdog after Wirecard case: FAS By Reuters


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© Reuters. German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz attends a news conference in Berlin

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German finance minister Olaf Scholz said on Sunday he planned to give the Germany’s financial markets watchdog more power in response to a corporate fraud scandal at payments company Wirecard (DE:) that had escaped the scrutiny of auditors.

Wirecard last week filed for insolvency owing creditors almost $4 billion after disclosing a 1.9 billion euros ($2.14 billion) hole in its accounts that auditor EY said was the result of a sophisticated global fraud.

The legal complexity of coordinating between different authorities and auditors led to gaps arising in the supervision of Wirecard’s accounts.

“I want to give BaFin more control rights over financial reports, regardless of whether or not a company has a banking section,” he said in an interview with Sunday paper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS).

Scholz said that BaFin’s protection mechanisms against accountants’ conflicts of interest must be improved.

He would propose rotating auditors to ensure more independence, and to examine whether the big accountancy companies – which apart from EY in Wirecard’s case include KPMG, PwC, Deloitte – should be both advising and monitoring one company at the same time.

He would back plans to give BaFin more funding and staff to undertake special and wider audits.

“No-one should assume it is enough to hold your breath and hope for the best,” he said. “We will have to clarify in each area what went wrong.”

BaFin president Felix Hufeld, who has defended BaFin’s record in the Wirecard crisis, was doing a good job, Scholz said.

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Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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Wirecard ex-COO Marsalek’s entry into Philippines was faked, minister says By Reuters


© Reuters. The logo of Wirecard AG is pictured at its headquarters in Aschheim

MANILA (Reuters) – Immigration records showing Wirecard’s former chief operating officer Jan Marsalek arrived in the Philippines on June 23 and departed for China the next day were falsified, Philippines Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on Saturday.

Guevarra said the immigration officers who inputted the fictitious entries have been relieved of their duties and face administrative sanctions.

“The investigation has now turned to persons who made the false entries in the database, their motives and their cohorts,” Guevarra told reporters.

Marsalek, 40, was fired as COO of the German firm on June 18 after auditor EY refused to sign off on Wirecard’s accounts. The company, once one of the hottest fintech companies in Europe, collapsed a week later owing creditors almost $4 billion after disclosing a $2.1 billion hole in its accounts that auditor EY said was the result of a sophisticated global fraud.

The missing money was purportedly held in escrow accounts at two Philippine banks, which have denied any links with the Wirecard.

Guevarra said it was possible Marsalek could be in the country, telling Reuters, “Notwithstanding the Bureau of Immigration report, I do not totally discount the possibility that Marsalek may be in the Philippines.”

“We are an island country, and there are backdoors through which undocumented foreigners may slip through,” he said.

Munich prosecutors obtained arrest warrants against ex-CEO Markus Braun and Marsalek on June 22. Braun turned himself in that day, but Marsalek has disappeared and his mobile number is no longer in service.

Both are suspected of market manipulation, false accounting and fraud, while the circle of suspects has widened to the entire management board of Wirecard.

Marsalek’s lawyer has declined all requests for comment.

Marsalek had oversight of Wirecard’s Asian operations, which are at the centre of suspicion by auditors and prosecutors of attempts to falsely inflate cash balances, turnover and profit.

Guevarra said earlier immigration records had shown that Marsalek had been in the Philippines from March 3 to 5.

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Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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Wirecard North America seeks buyer, distances itself from German company By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man walks past the Wirecard booth at the computer games fair Gamescom in Cologne, Germany

(Reuters) – Wirecard North America Inc, a unit of German payments company Wirecard AG (DE:), on Monday said it has put itself up for sale, days after the troubled parent firm filed for insolvency. The U.S.-based unit, which was bought by Wirecard in 2016, said an investment bank is coordinating the sale process. The unit was formerly known as Citi Prepaid Card Services.

It did not provide further details but said Wirecard North America is a separate legal and business entity of Wirecard and is “substantially autonomous” from the German company, adding that it remains “self-sustaining”.

Last week, Wirecard filed for insolvency owing creditors almost $4 billion after disclosing a 1.9 billion euro ($2.14 billion) hole in its accounts that its auditor EY said was the result of a sophisticated global fraud.

The company said on Saturday it would proceed with business activities after the insolvency filing and an administrator was appointed on Monday.

($1=0.8895 euros)

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Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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UK watchdog says Wirecard making progress on addressing concerns By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The headquarters of Wirecard AG is seen in Aschheim near Munich

By Huw Jones and Iain Withers

LONDON (Reuters) – The Financial Conduct Authority said on Monday Wirecard was addressing the British watchdog’s concerns but its restrictions on the collapsed German payments company’s services would remain for now.

Several UK fintech firms have been forced to suspend services following the FCA’s restrictions on Wirecard, leaving hundreds of thousands of accounts blocked.

“We cannot lift the restrictions without reassuring ourselves that the firm has been able to satisfy all our concerns for example that all clients’ money is safe. We hope to be able to issue an update soon,” the FCA said in a statement on Monday.

The FCA its teams have been working with Wirecard, and other international and UK authorities, over the weekend.

“We have seen good progress by the firm in meeting the conditions we set,” the watchdog said.

Subprime lender Morses Club said on Monday it had had to freeze online accounts provided by its digital service U Account.

Industry forum the Emerging Payments Association (EPA) said the FCA freeze on Wirecard in Britain should be lifted as soon as possible as moving to alternative firms takes months and with significant costs.

“We predict dozens of corporate failures, hundreds of job losses and significant reductions in tax payments, unless it is removed right away,” EPA said in a letter to the FCA.

“Unless the suspension is reversed soon, and within the next 24 hours, we predict significant and irreparable damage to the UK’s reputation for having a thriving, balanced fintech industry supported by an understanding and enabling regulator.”

Martin Lewis, founder of consumer website moneysavingexpert.com, said there is a reasonable expectation that the hundreds of thousands of consumers affected will get access to their money again by Wednesday or Thursday.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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