Start News Berlin advises on supervisory reform after Wirecard scandal

Berlin advises on supervisory reform after Wirecard scandal

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Wirecard

Before the special meeting of the Finance Committee in the German Bundestag on the Wirecard scandal, the German government reaffirmed its willingness to reform financial supervision. Possible measures are currently being coordinated within the government, deputy government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said in Berlin today. The aim is to avert damage from the German financial center.

Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann called as a consequence of Wirecard’s alleged billions of fraud to tighten economic and balance sheet audits. Weidmann told the newspapers of the Funke media group that the rules and procedures for these tests had to be given „more bite“. In order to be able to build up processes like Wirecard more effectively in the future, auditors must be enabled to „better examine international business relationships“.

Ministry wants to put a stop to „fraud“

In response to the scandal surrounding Munich’s now insolvent financial service provider, the German Ministry of Finance drew up a 16-point plan last week to tighten control over the financial sector. Among other things, the plan provides that the BaFin financial supervisory authority can act directly and with sovereign powers vis-à-vis capital market companies.

A spokesman for Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) emphasized that it was about „putting a stop to fraud“. Scholz is for a „far-reaching reform“ that is now being discussed within the government. A spokeswoman for the German Minister for Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier (CDU) also emphasized that it was now about the reputation of Germany as a financial center. Altmaier has repeatedly said that it is „very important that the processes are cleared up“.

The Bundestag Finance Committee will meet for a special meeting on Wednesday afternoon, Scholz and Altmaier have agreed to come. The opposition accuses the government of neglecting the scandal. The financial regulator BaFin had already informed Scholz in February 2019 of an investigation into allegations of fraud against Wirecard. The Chancellery supported the German financial services provider’s entry into the country on a trip to China by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in September 2019.