EY’s auditors fail Wirecard’s 2019 financial statements. According to information from WDR, NDR and SZ question the entire business with Asian third party partners.
Von Massimo Bognanni (WDR) and Georg Mascolo (WDR / NDR)
The letter that arrived in tranquil Aschheim on Monday morning was only six pages long. But the letter to the board of directors of the now insolvent payment service provider Wirecard was tough. Two auditors from the auditing group EY had put it on. In the letter, which is available to WDR, NDR and “Süddeutscher Zeitung”, the auditors fail to give their attestation for the 2019 annual financial statements. The Group’s balance sheet is thus incomplete and void: the greatest possible proof of distrust.
For the Dax group, the process is another blow in a never-ending chain of setbacks. The news rolled over recently: corporate raid, billions on Asian trust accounts that do not exist, bankruptcy, arrest warrants for board members – one surrenders, the other not. And now the trouble with the auditors.
Criticism of information policy
The auditors, who have been auditing the group’s balance sheets for several years, criticize above all the third-party business in Asia, which recently allegedly accounted for a good half of the sales and almost 90 percent of Wirecard AG’s profits.
In their letter, the auditors allege the information policy of the former stock exchange favorite. Documents such as bank statements or account opening receipts, despite several requests, were not presented, and promised contacts were not conveyed. In the meantime, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) and the Munich public prosecutor have also been informed of the latest findings from auditors.
The EY auditors are now also questioning events from 2018. At the end of last year, the group had changed its trustee for parts of the Asian business. A trustee who managed Wirecard’s escrow accounts until the end of 2019 is said to have once confirmed approximately 980 million euros in credit with the Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation in Singapore.
But now the EY auditors apparently want to know again exactly: At the beginning of last week, they asked the service provider to confirm the balance as of December 31, 2018. The trustee replied: “Please note that this is not my letter and the Letterhead of our company. Please note that we do not hold such credit, nor have we confirmed it. ” In addition, the last time they worked in trust for a Wirecard company in March 2017.
Documents falsified in 2018?
This means that not only may credit be missing and documents falsified for the 2019 financial year, but perhaps already for 2018. “This gives rise to reasonable suspicion,” it says in the letter from the EY auditors to the remaining Wirecard board, ” that the trustee’s balance confirmations and the information on the account balances as of December 31, 2018 that we received were also incorrect. “
The first voices in the Bundestag are now calling for an investigative committee. After all, no supervisory body had recognized the Wirecard balance sheet gaps, although there were repeated indications that the balance sheets had been improved. The role of EY would then also have to be clarified, because the auditors had audited the company’s financial statements in the past.