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Opinion: Wirecard fraud shows it′s time to regulate the regulators | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW

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Opinion: Wirecard fraud shows it's time to regulate the regulators
Germany's Wirecard debacle is just one example of a scandal that could have been avoided if those in charge of oversight had actually done their job, says Kate Ferguson.
The Wirecard collapse is the most recent example of oversight failure in Germany
What would you do if you were confident you could get away with it? Perhaps you'd rob a bank, or have a wild affair. Or maybe you'd subsist on nothing but candy floss for the rest of your life.
The chances are you won't, though. The risk of being arrested, destroying your marriage or becoming a diabetic are simply too high.

German regulator files criminal complaint against Deutsche Bank board member over Wirecard - FT


By Reuters Staff
1 Min Read
FRANKFURT, April 19 (Reuters) - Germany’s securities regulator BaFin has filed a criminal complaint against outgoing Deutsche Bank supervisory board member Alexander Schuetz for alleged insider trading of Wirecard shares, the Financial Times reported on Monday.
The FT, citing confirmation from Munich’s prosecutor office, reported that prosecutors received the complaint from BaFin on Monday by fax and the office was awaiting further details.
BaFin, Deutsche Bank and a spokesman for Schuetz declined to comment. Munich prosecutors didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Schuetz has previously announced that he is stepping down from the board. (Reporting by Tom Sims and Patricia Uhlig. Editing by Mark Potter)

DocFilm - The Wirecard Case - The Tricksters and the Tricked | DocFilm | DW


Permalink https://p.dw.com/p/3sXRE
"The Wirecard Case" tells the story of the financial scandal from the perspective of the short sellers, stock traders who bet that prices will fall and manage to gain when everyone else is losing. For years, short sellers around the world recognized that fraud was taking place at Wirecard and they knew it would someday be uncovered. Even in the face of criticism from the authorities and the company, the short sellers turned out to be right. The filmmakers ask why, if the swindling was so obvious, did the authorities, auditors and policymakers leave Wirecard's management in place for years? Why were alarm signals ignored? Why did financial oversight authorities fail to investigate the company rather than its critics? And what role did Germany's federal government play in the affair? "The Wirecard Case" also takes viewers inside the company to examine leading figures Jan Marsalek and Markus Braun as well as speaking with those who watched as Wirecard came apart at the seams.

Wirecard employees removed millions in cash using shopping bags

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Wirecard employees removed millions in cash using shopping bags
23 Apr, 2021 01:30 AM
5 minutes to read
Wirecard's Munich headquarters: ex-employees have told police that staff repeatedly removed large amounts of cash from the premises. Photo / Bloomberg
Wirecard's Munich headquarters: ex-employees have told police that staff repeatedly removed large amounts of cash from the premises. Photo / Bloomberg
Financial Times
By: Olaf Storbeck
Wirecard employees hauled millions of euros of cash out of the group's Munich headquarters in plastic bags over a period of years, according to former employees, suggesting that the payments company was looted even more
brazenly than previously known.
The once high-flying fintech, which at its peak was worth €24 billion ($40.2b), went bust last summer in one of Germany's biggest accounting frauds. It collapsed after discovering that €1.9bn of corporate cash did not exist and that parts of its business in Asia were a sham.

DW Business – Europe & Asia | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW


DW Business – Europe & Asia
Merkel to face grilling over Wirecard scandal - Spain's Costa del Sol hopes for quick recovery - Daimler books €4.4 billion profit in quarter
Watch video
13:05

German chancellor facing tough questions over Wirecard | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW


German chancellor facing tough questions over Wirecard
As a parliamentary inquiry into the collapse of payment services company Wirecard continues, many questions about a suspected lack of adequate supervision have yet to be answered.
Watch video
04:39

German minister denies responsibility in Wirecard scandal

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SunStar
German minister denies responsibility in Wirecard scandal
GERMANY. German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz looks on as he arrives to testify before a parliament committee investigating Wirecard, in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, April 22, 2021. (AP)
+
April 23, 2021
BERLIN -- Germany's finance minister denied any responsibility on his or the government's part for the scandal surrounding collapsed payment systems provider Wirecard, as he testified before lawmakers on Thursday.
Wirecard filed for protection from creditors through insolvency proceedings in June after admitting that 1.9 billion euros ($2.3 billion) supposedly held in trust accounts in the Philippines probably didn’t exist.
Some lawmakers have accused authorities — from financial supervisors to prosecutors and auditors — of looking the other way, despite reports of irregularities at Wirecard dating back at least five years.

Germany's Merkel rejects criticism of her Wirecard lobbying in China


4 Min Read
FRANKFURT (Reuters) -German chancellor Angela Merkel rejected criticism of her lobbying for Wirecard in China months before it collapsed, telling lawmakers she had no reason to suspect the firm of criminality as she sought to help it do business there.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is seated prior to testifying in front of a parliamentary committee investigating the financial scandal over payment systems provider Wirecard in Berlin, Germany April 23, 2021. John MacDougall/Pool via REUTERS
Her detailed account of events leading to a state visit to China in September 2019 shone a rare light on the inner workings of government and its lobbying for business, marking the climax of a public inquiry into the country’s biggest post-war fraud.

How Wirecard′s €1.9 billion could go ′missing′ | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW


How Wirecard's €1.9 billion could go 'missing'
As Chancellor Angela Merkel is summoned for an ongoing parliamentary inquiry into alleged fraud at Wirecard, it is still unclear how one of Germany's biggest tech hopes went astray and why it could happen here.
Watch video
01:56

German MPs quiz Angela Merkel, ministers over Wirecard scandal


German MPs quiz Angela Merkel, ministers over Wirecard scandal
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German MPs quiz Angela Merkel, ministers over Wirecard scandal
AFP / Updated: Apr 22, 2021, 16:05 IST
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Germany's finance minister faces a grilling by lawmakers probing the collapse of payments firm Wirecard in a parliamentary inquiry that would also put Chancellor Angela Merkel in the hot seat. Photo: Getty Images
BERLIN: Germany's finance minister faces a grilling Thursday by lawmakers probing the collapse of payments firm Wirecard in a parliamentary inquiry that would also put Chancellor Angela Merkel in the hot seat.
Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, who has described the Wirecard scandal as "unparalleled" in Germany, is up before MPs, two days after Economy Minister Peter Altmaier appeared before the parliamentary committee.

Germany's finance minister rejects blame for...


© CyprusMail 2021
Germany’s finance minister denied any blame for the multi-billion-euro Wirecard fraud on Thursday, pointing the finger at the company and its auditors, EY, for waving the firm’s accounts through for a decade.
Olaf Scholz joins a long list of politicians and officials who have denied responsibility for slipshod oversight and what critical lawmakers see as a pro-Wirecard bias that failed to avert Germany’s biggest post-war fraud.
The case, on a par with the Enron scandal in the United States, has prompted the resignation of the heads of two German supervisory authorities, an overhaul...

German regulator files criminal complaint against Deutsche Bank board member over Wirecard - FT


By Reuters Staff
1 Min Read
FRANKFURT, April 19 (Reuters) - Germany’s securities regulator BaFin has filed a criminal complaint against outgoing Deutsche Bank supervisory board member Alexander Schuetz for alleged insider trading of Wirecard shares, the Financial Times reported on Monday.
The FT, citing confirmation from Munich’s prosecutor office, reported that prosecutors received the complaint from BaFin on Monday by fax and the office was awaiting further details.
BaFin, Deutsche Bank and a spokesman for Schuetz declined to comment. Munich prosecutors didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Schuetz has previously announced that he is stepping down from the board. (Reporting by Tom Sims and Patricia Uhlig. Editing by Mark Potter)

How Germany considered rescuing Wirecard days before its doom


8 Min Read
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The German government examined the possibility of bailing out Wirecard just three days before it collapsed, according to documents seen by Reuters showing that officials were blindsided by the country’s biggest post-war fraud scandal.
FILE PHOTO: Wirecard's former boss Markus Braun looks on during a break in his hearing before a German parliamentary committee in Berlin, Germany, November 19, 2020. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch/Pool/File Photo
The payment company filed for insolvency on June 25 last year, owing creditors almost $4 billion, after disclosing a 1.9 billion euro ($2.3 billion) hole in its accounts that its auditor EY said was the result of a sophisticated global fraud.

The fall of Wirecard — where were the regulators? | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW


The fall of Wirecard — where were the regulators?
As investigators continue to dig into the fall of Wirecard, new accusations are being raised against the German Finance Ministry and a financial watchdog. Despite early warnings, no appropriate action was taken.
Watch video
02:00

German lawmakers to grill Merkel over Wirecard scandal | News | DW

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Delivery Hero's first trading day as DAX company
"At that point of time, the chancellor should not have lobbied in favor of the company, but rather the prosecutor and the police should have marched in and searched the premises of the company," he said.
Merkel will be summoned to testify on April 23, a day after Scholz, the candidate whom the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) have tipped to succeed the Christian Democrat Merkel after the national election this year.
Toncar also told DW that Scholz's ministry failed to avert the scandal.
"Most of the political responsibility lies with the Ministry of Finance, the ministry of Olaf Scholz," said Toncar, a lawyer who specializes in international finance and a member of the parliamentary inquiry investigating the Wirecard insolvency.

Fahmi Quadir: Wirecard's most dangerous opponent


Fahmi Quadir: Wirecard's most dangerous opponent
The short-seller told the Bundestag's investigative committee why Wirecard's actions should have been easy to uncover - if only she'd been listened to.
Michael Maier , 6.3.2021 - 09:30 Uhr
Artikel anhören
Photo: Berliner Zeitung/Paulus PonizakFahmi Quadir.
Berlin - At around 9:45 pm on Thursday, a sudden silence falls in the Europa Room of the Paul Löbe House in Berlin's government district, as MP Florian Toncar (FDP) asks witness Fahmi Quadir in a low voice: "If you don't mind, please tell us about the attack against you in New York." Quadir looks down at the ground for a moment. She has prepared well for her appearance before the Bundestag's Wirecard Investigation Committee.

Stock picking rockstar Cathie Wood is the anti-Warren Buffett

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ARK and Berkshire stocks: Betting on both "really is the definition of diversification."

Wirecard: The US is just getting started


Wirecard: The US is just getting started
US short seller Fahmi Quadir says an arrest in the US on an unrelated case may lead to more surprises for the disgraced German fintech, and German officials.
Michael Maier, 4.3.2021 - 06:00 Uhr
Artikel anhören
Berliner Zeitung/Paulus PonizakFahmi Quadir. 
Berlin - New York hedge fund manager Fahmi Quadir expects the Wirecard investigation to lead to a number of indictments and convictions. Quadir is a short seller and founder of hedge fund Safkhet Capital, which has been on the trail of fraudulent schemes for years.
"There are numerous investigations underway by the US authorities. The US judiciary is working with insiders who are cooperating as state witnesses. Some people are already in prison without this having been made public. The US justice system is keeping the investigation secret to not tip off perpetrators," she told Berliner Zeitung.

F|T: The FinTech Times - Banking-as-a-service's new problems

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EY Germany head steps down in wake of Wirecard scandal


By Reuters Staff
2 Min Read
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Ernst & Young is seen in Zurich, Switzerland November 13, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
BERLIN (Reuters) - EY Germany said its head, Hubert Barth, was stepping down and announced plans for a programme to help restore trust in its work as an auditor following the collapse of payment services firm Wirecard.
In December, German prosecutors opened an investigation into partners at EY over the Wirecard scandal after an accounting watchdog filed a report accusing them of criminality in their work for the failed payments company.
EY has lost a number of prominent contracts since news of the Wirecard scandal broke.

German prosecutor looking into regulator's handling of Wirecard

Frankfurt prosecutors are looking into German financial regulator BaFin's handling of collapsed payments company Wirecard, a spokesman for the prosecutor's office said on Wednesday.

SoftBank-backed Berkshire Grey to go public via $2.7 bn SPAC deal


SoftBank-backed robotics firm Berkshire Grey said on Wednesday it has agreed to go public through a merger with a blank-check firm in a deal that values the combined company at $2.7 billion.
The deal is expected to provide Berkshire Grey about $413 million in cash, as the maker of logistics automation systems looks to take advantage of a surge in online shopping amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The proceeds include a private investment of $165 million anchored by venture capital investor Chamath Palihapitiya and funds and accounts managed by BlackRock Inc.
Palihapitiya has been one of the most prolific sponsors of special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), merging them with a range of companies - from space tourism firm Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc to home-selling platform Opendoor Technologies Inc.

Head of German accounting watchdog to step down in wake of Wirecard

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The head of Germany's accounting watchdog, under fire for failing to spot wrongdoing ahead of the collapse of the payments company Wirecard, is stepping down. The agency, formally known as the Financial Reporting Enforcement Panel (FREP), said in a statement on Wednesday that President Edgar Ernst is leaving his post at his own wish, effective Dec. 31. Ernst has also come under criticism for potential conflicts of interest because he held seats on supervisory boards of major corporations, including real-estate company Vonovia, retailer Metro and tour operator TUI.

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