Wirecard rebounds by 150%, but the scandal does not stop


BERLIN – The bitter awakening of the financial community, the indignation of politicians, the rush of lawyers to compensation, the fury on the last shreds of the title: so far the unfolding of the Wirecard scandal is a script. But being also a colossal fintech-daemmerung, an epos from hybris, the story is being enriched by the hour with new twists.

For example, financial director Jan Marsalek has completely evaporated. In recent days he had made it known, through his lawyers, to be in the Philippines to track down documents proving the existence of the boasted current accounts of 1.9 billion euros. Meanwhile, according to German media, Marsalek has made himself unavailable and has made it known that he does not want to bring himself to justice. The prosecutor has issued an international arrest warrant, but according to rumors the former financial director of Wirecard, who would cultivate excellent relations with the secret services, would have escaped from the Philippines to China and would have disappeared into thin air there.

Wirecard’s title ended up on the swing of speculators and rumors. The news that some funds may be interested in detecting what remains of the Bavarian company specializing in online payments has raised the title from 1.73 euros of the opening to around 3 euros of the closing of the cpn, a release of over 150%. Too bad that a month ago it was worth over 100 euros. But dark clouds are gathering over its future and that of its investors, shareholders and creditors.

The German parliamentary opposition has asked for a commission of inquiry into the largest post-war German financial scandal and the government has already severed the contract with the ‘guardian of the accounts’ FREP, the company charged with examining the financial statements of companies that one year he was analyzing the Wirecard case and the alarm on his obvious opacities had never sounded alarm. “The fact that Bafin has been waiting for a FREP report for 15 months despite the clues to its regularity is absurd,” commented Frank Schaeffler, FDP member of parliament and supervisory board member of the German Banking Supervisory Authority. “It’s like shooting cotton balls on an elephant,” added the liberal politician. Deutsche Boerse also moves: Wirecard had conquered the list of German blue chips two years ago. Now the German stock exchange announces that it wants to reform the access rules.

Stones also rain on the other great suspect in the Bavarian fintech drama. James Freis, the new CEO of Wirecard’s auditor, Ernst & Young, would have told the supervisory board that basic checks would have been enough to expose the scam. But a group of 1,500 investors represented by Berlin lawyer Wolfgang Schirp have already claimed a billion damages from the auditor. The Dutch investor association “European Investors – VEB” also denounced EY.

Meanwhile, in an internal note, Freis would have warned partners to prepare for difficult conversations with customers on Wirecard and to support the thesis of the international scam aimed at “deceiving investors and EY” as reported by the Financial Times. The financial newspaper reported last week that EY auditors have avoided for three years asking for crucial information about an alleged billion-dollar account in Singapore. And the Singapore central bank said yesterday that it will collaborate with the police on the investigation into the collapse of Wirecard.

In Italy, on the other hand, Sisalpay | 5 runs for cover to protect its 325 thousand customers, involved in the freezing of Wirecard cards. In a note, the company promises “with the full support of the shareholders CVC Capital Partners and Banca 5” an economic coverage plan worth 20 million euros.

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Mario Calabresi
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