So far, Wirecard Bank has been largely unaffected by the huge fraud scandal involving its parent company, the insolvent payment service provider Wirecard. A media report, which refers to an internal audit report from July 20, raises doubts. Accordingly, the volatile ex-Wirecard board member Jan Marsalek is said to have massively intervened in the processing and granting of loans at the money house, although he did not hold a position on the board of directors or on the supervisory board of the bank.
For example, loans to business partners of the Wirecard Group such as Ocap Management from Singapore have given “indications of criminal offenses” to the detriment of the bank, it says. Many of the borrowers also had bad credit ratings; Nor did they pay attention to compliance with credit conditions such as the achievement of key figures. And the bank didn’t even know enough about loan defaults, writes the mirror.
“Commercial gang fraud”
Jan Marsalek and other parties involved such as the former Wirecard CEO Markus Braun are being investigated for “commercial gang fraud”. The manipulation of the balance sheet at the former Dax group is said to have caused an alleged damage of over three billion euros. Der Spiegel refers to allegations by the investigating Munich public prosecutor that loans such as those to Ocap and others were a means of embezzlement with which Marsalek and Getreue filled their pockets.
The audit report also cites other shortcomings: the supervisory boards of the bank and the parent company were partly made up of the same people, which could lead to conflicts of interest. There were also deficits in money laundering prevention. If the allegations prove to be true, bank employees could have violated their duties or even assisted in breach of trust.
Bafin too lax?
What is also piquant about the allegations is that the Wirecard Bank is directly under the supervision of the Bafin, which is already in the crossfire because of its role in the scandal. With regard to Wirecard, the German financial regulator had repeatedly defended itself by stating that the payment service provider was classified as a technology company and not a financial company – and was therefore not subject to their supervision.
According to Spiegel, the Bundesbank is said to have seen additional capital required to back the credit card business in 2017 as part of a special audit by Wirecard Bank. According to later reports, this could have amounted to around 30.9 billion euros. However, the Bafin took the Wirecard Bank’s point of view and did not follow it. According to Spiegel, the Bafin received the audit report on how it dealt with it, but remains open.
Working up will take time
What is left of Wirecard’s core business was taken over by the Spanish Santander Bank in November – according to reports for over 100 million euros. Wirecard Bank is not part of this deal: it is to be processed gradually under the supervision of Bafin. In the Bundestag, the committee of inquiry is currently running, which is dedicated to coming to terms with the entire scandal. The legal processing could take a long time, the Munich public prosecutor spoke of a period of more than five years.