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Wirecard : in the financial scandal, the boss Markus Braun resigns

New twist in the soap opera of the fintech German Wirecard, immersed in a financial scandal. After the announcement yesterday of the fourth postponement of publication of its financial results 2019, the chairman of the management board, Markus Braun, resigned on Friday with immediate effect, announced the company in a press release.

also read : fintech Wirecard continues to sink deeper into crisis

in the last few quarters, the specialist in online payments is mired in a case of suspicion of accounting manipulation, which had been revealed for the first time by a series of articles in the Financial Times . The british daily had then discovered that a part of the billings of the company carried out on the asian continent was the ghost companies.

revelations which quickly turned into a real business. Last April, after conducting an external investigation, the audit firm KPMG in turn had found irregularities in the accounts for the year 2019.

€ 2 billion fraud alleged

on Thursday, the firm Aschheim, near Munich, announced in a press release postponing the publication of its financial results for 2019 in the absence of a validation by the auditing firm EY. Among the many areas of shadow noted, the auditors say they are unable to confirm the real existence of 1.9 billion euros of assets, one-quarter of the balance sheet of fintech, in connection with accounts held by "two asian banks". A precision that confirms the information in the Financial Times.

After the announcement of this fourth report publication of accounts, the specialist in online payments, has seen its course to fall by more than 60% on Thursday on the Frankfurt stock Exchange. Since Wednesday, the price fell by about 80%.

counterattack Wirecard in the morning

According to the press release of the fintech published on Friday, the decision of resignation of Markus Braun, was taken "by mutual agreement with the supervisory board". A few hours earlier, in a video somewhat sinister broadcast online, the now ex-president of the management board, defended the company against accusations of accounting fraud. He stated that it is not excluded that "Wirecard has become the victim of a fraud of enormous proportions," and ensures that "Wirecard AG will file a complaint against X."

After months of serenity facade displayed, Wirecard has finally decided to place themselves in a position of victim company. In the video, Markus Braun explains that two banks, with a high rating from Moody's or S&P, had taken over the management of trust accounts by 2019. "It is currently difficult to know the reason for which the two banks have stated to the auditor that the validations were false. The trustee is said to Wirecard want to clarify the facts with the two banks managing the trust accounts in a short period of time," he continued. The ex-president of the management board also took the opportunity to announce the suspension of the COO (or managing director), Jan Marsalek, "on a basic revocable" until 30 June, and his replacement by James Freis, the director of compliance.

investors ready to fight

This counter-offensive court did not, however, the group spared a major difficulty in the short term. If the company remains unable to finalize the certification, and the consolidation of its accounts before this Friday, June 19, it will require nearly two billion euros of funding lines. This would result in a termination of the loans by that amount, said the company.

in addition, investors upset by the situation would even be tempted to proceed to a court action. "We analyze the situation and are considering legal action," said for his part the German company DWS, which has announced that it has significantly reduced its positions in the stock.

The authority of financial supervision in germany, in the viewfinder

With this case, the gendarme of the German stock exchange finds itself under fire of criticism of the opposition parties in the Bundestag, the German parliament. "The authority of financial supervision in German must radically change its culture of supervision," says the financial expert of the parliamentary group of the party of the extreme left, Fabio De Masi. For its part, the German government would be especially concerned about the situation, according to the economic daily Handelsblatt.

The editorial team conseilleRemade, a bankruptcy on a background of scandal financierAucun comment

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