German lawmakers grill Scholz over Wirecard scandal


© Reuters. German parliament’s financial committee about the Wirecard case in Berlin

BERLIN (Reuters) – German lawmakers on Wednesday questioned Finance Minister Olaf Scholz over his failure to detect and prevent the Wirecard () accounting scandal, one of the biggest in post-war history.

Payment services company Wirecard filed for insolvency last month after admitting that 1.9 billion euros (1.7 billion pounds) supposedly held in trustee accounts by overseas partners probably did not exist.

Prosecutors have arrested former Wirecard Chief Executive Markus Braun and two other former executives on suspicion of orchestrating a years-long criminal racket to inflate revenue and balances to hide losses dating back at least to 2015.

Scholz entered the closed-door meeting in the parliament’s finance committee without giving a statement to reporters, but he earlier told public broadcaster ARD that no mistakes had been made.

“What has to be done has been done,” Scholz said, adding that a big, internationally renowned accounting firm had also not detected the irregularities at Wirecard for many years.

Scholz last week rushed out a reform agenda that would give financial watchdog BaFin greater investigative and enforcement powers, broaden its mandate to cover non-banking financial institutions, and toughen penalties against lax auditors.

Florian Toncar, a lawmaker from the opposition pro-business Free Democrats (FDP), accused the government of failing for years to detect the massive accounting scandal.

Fabio De Masi, a lawmaker from the opposition Left party, called for the installation of a more formal investigative committee in parliament to bring to light who exactly knew what at which time and therefore had to be held accountable.

See also  PayPal becomes first member to exit Facebook's Libra Association

For Scholz, the scandal comes at an unfavorable time, as he hopes to become the lead candidate of his Social Democrats (SPD) to replace Chancellor Angela Merkel in a general election next year.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





READ SOURCE

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here