News | Published June 26 2020

Wirecard files for insolvency

German payments firm Wirecard has filed for insolvency, and its shares have plummeted by more than 80 per cent.

After the firm disclosed a hole of some £1.7 billion in its accounts - for which the trail ended somewhere in the Philippines.

On Friday, boss Markus Braun was arrested in Germany after stepping down. It seems increasingly likely that these additional funds in the company accounts were fabricated to appeal to investors.

Creditors for the company stand to lose billions of euros.

Founded in 1999, Wirecard has provided electronic payments services, risk management operations and the issuing of both physical and virtual cards for around 20 years.

After acquiring Citi Prepaid Services and rebranding it as Wirecard North America in 2017, the company moved heavily into ecommerce and focused on the electronic sides of its operations.

Accounting irregularities in some of its Asian operations were supposedly discovered by the Financial Times last year, at which point the company said money was set aside with Asian banks for "risk management".

KPMG discovered these irregularities were not sufficiently documented at the end of April, however, and investigations have been ongoing over the past two months.

The company's share price then fell by over 70 per cent in the space of just 48 hours.

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Authored by

The Parliamentary Review

June 26 2020

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