1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites
Wirecard credit card
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/S. Hoppe

Germany to overhaul regulator after Wirecard scandal

July 6, 2020

Germany's finance minister wants to beef up the nation's financial regulator in the wake of the Wirecard scandal. The finance watchdog admitted its ineffectiveness in preventing the auditing disaster.

https://p.dw.com/p/3epxs

Germany plans to restructure its financial services regulator BaFin after the watchdog's reputation took a hit in the Wirecard scandal.

"We need far-reaching reforms," German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper, saying it was now up to legislators to "review and improve new protective mechanisms."

Read more: Opinion: Wirecard debacle exposes cracks at Germany's financial regulator

Wirecard, a digital payments service, filed for bankruptcy last month after admitting €1.9 billion ($2.1 billion) was missing from its accounts. The firm's former chief executive, Markus Braun, is under investigation by federal prosecutors.

The scandal sparked criticism of auditors and regulators meant to be overseeing the firm. BaFin head Felix Hufeld has admitted it "had not been effective enough" in monitoring Wirecard.

Direct intervention

Scholz said Germany should abolish the two-stage examination procedure in which BaFin only intervenes when red flags are raised during an initial audit by a private monitoring body. That would allow for the nation's financial regulator to directly intervene, according to Scholz.

Moreover, Scholz wants to give BaFin "more control rights over financial reports, regardless of whether the company has a banking division or not." He said large payment providers should be subject to financial supervision in general.

Scholz added that the institution, which is under the supervision the finance ministry, should be strengthened in terms of personnel.

"If we come to the conclusion that BaFin needs more money, more jobs and more competency, I will make every effort to ensure that this happens," the finance minister said.

dv/aw (AFP, dpa)

Skip next section Explore more
Skip next section Related topics

Related topics

Skip next section DW's Top Story

DW's Top Story

Night falls in a neighborhood without electricity in Lyman City, Ukraine

Ukraine updates: Hundreds of towns, villages without power

Skip next section More stories from DW
Go to homepage