German watchdog resigns after Wirecard

Germany’s main monetary regulator resigns after repeated scandals surrounding the collapse of the Payments Company Wirecard highlighted the control body’s inability to save it from the country’s biggest business scandal in years.

On Friday, BaFin President Felix Hufeld announced his departure in conjunction with German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz. “We are combining planned organizational reform in BaFin with a restart of control,” Scholz said. .

Wirecard, a stock market favorite who promised to make money obsolete.

The collapse of Wirecard, from emerging star to national disgrace, highlighted why BaFin and other governments did not stumble upon fraud after several warnings, prompting a parliamentary hearing in an election year and surprised by the scale of the deception. The action in 2019 has led to complaints that the German status quo is more involved with the protecting society than rigorously investigating it.

Hufeld had been under increasing strain after repeated main points of BaFin deficiencies were revealed. More recently, the regulator discovered a suspected use of Wirecard securities insider information through a member of its own staff.

The Wirecard scandal shows that BaFin wants to reorganize to make oversight more effective, according to the Ministry of Finance. Opposition lawmakers covered the decision.

“Finally, we see consequences for the staff,” said Frank Schaeffler, a free Democratic opposition MP and a member of BaFin’s board of directors. “But this may be the beginning. We want a fresh start. “

Similarly, Fabio de Masi, a left-wing opposition party legislator, said Hufeld’s departure “late. “

Roegele, who leads value oversight, agreed with the ministry that his branch is also a new executive, BaFin said in a statement.

The next national election in September raised bets for Scholz, who is in favor of the Social Democrats as a candidate for chancellor.

Scholz said Thursday that the Ministry of Finance will provide the effects of a on how BaFin can be reformed in the coming days.

Hufeld has stated in the past that BaFin is among the government guilty of not detecting fraud, but rejected the concept that BaFin sought to protect the company and pledged to help prevent a repeat of the scandal by reviewing its institution.

Hufeld is a member of the supervisory board of the European Central Bank, which oversees the main banks in the region.

Wirecard had been successful for years and relied on fake transactions with foreign partners to hide fraud. Short sellers, whistleblowers and newscasts reported accounting irregularities.

The scandal has already led to the suspension of Germany’s most sensible audit regulator, who told lawmakers that he negotiated Wirecard shares while his firm reviewed the company’s external audits. since then His second-in-command is a fugitive.


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