Ministry of Finance keeps talks with Wirecard CEO secret

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Wirecard headquarters in Aschheim

Left and Greens want to fully solve the Wirecard scandal – if necessary also with a committee of inquiry.


(Photo: Reuters)

New York The pressure on politics in the Wirecard scandal is increasing: Jörg Kukies, State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Finance, spoke twice to the now resigning Wirecard CEO Markus Braun in autumn 2019. Several media reports, including the “Financial Times” (FT). However, the Federal Ministry of Finance does not want to disclose what the talks were about. In response to a request from the Greens and the Left, the ministry invokes “secret protection interests”, reports the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” (SZ).

Kukies is said to have first spoken to the former Wirecard boss on September 4, 2019 during a discussion round. On November 5, on Braun’s 50th birthday, the State Secretary held another conversation with the then Chairman of the Board, according to the “SZ”.

The opposition criticizes the actions of the Ministry of Finance. “This is simply completely unacceptable,” said Fabio De Masi, member of the Left Bundestag, to the “FT”. “In view of the extent and extent of the Wirecard scandal and the regulatory and political failure to cope with it, the general public has a fundamental right to knowledge.” Left and Greens want to fully solve the Wirecard affair – if necessary also with a committee of inquiry, such as the ” SZ ”reports.

Payment service provider Wirecard filed for bankruptcy in June after uncovering a balance sheet hole of EUR 1.9 billion. The public prosecutor’s office is investigating fraud, balance sheet falsification and market manipulation against the resigned CEO Braun and other managers. Authorities worldwide are investigating suspected various financial crimes in the Wirecard area, including in the United States, Singapore and the Philippines.

The financial regulator Bafin is accused of intervening too late at Wirecard. Bafin President Felix Hufeld telephoned Wirecard executives only a few days before the bankruptcy application, as the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung” (FAS) reports on Sunday. Hufeld spoke to the new CEO James Freis, as well as Wirecard’s supervisory board chair Thomas Eichelmann.

Bafin Vice President Elisabeth Roegele and Bafin Director Raimund Röseler, who is responsible for banking supervision, are said not to have had any direct discussions with Wirecard’s board of directors and supervisory boards until recently, reports the “FAS”.

More: The Wirecard case: how ex-CEO Markus Braun drove the company into bankruptcy

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