Wirecard: too many unanswered questions -
German fintech group Wirecard has failed to answer urgent questions raised by the Financial Times, especially in recent articles published on Tuesday and Wednesday last week. The Financial Times has unearthed documents that seem to show 34 key clients of Wirecard's Dubai subsidiary, equivalent to one quarter of Wirecard group's reported turnover and half its EBITDA for fiscal year 2016, who as per the Financial Times' reporting have in part ceased operations and in part could not confirm a business relationship with the company. Wirecard has responded rather lamely to these allegations, denying all impropriety but refusing to go into the details and state specifically which particular allegation it considers untrue. Most astonishingly, Wirecard has claimed that the 34 companies mentioned by the Financial Times were "labels of customer clusters", each cluster aggregating hundreds of individual genuine clients. This explanation has in itself raised eyebrows around the globe and does not seem to satisfy common financial reporting standards.
Wirecard has since then named KPMG as its own auditor to look into the matter. Leading German lawyers feel that this is not nearly enough. Dr. Wolfgang Schirp from Schirp & Partner Rechtsanwälte mbB in Berlin: "In the current situation, an independent auditor is needed. Investors cannot confide in someone who reports to the Wirecard board. Therefore, we are assembling a group of investors to force the appointment of a special auditor under section 142 of the German Stock Corporation Act. This special auditor will independently examine the matter and report to shareholders. To reach the quorum of 1/20 of Wirecard's capital needed under section 122 of the German Stock Corporation Act, we welcome participation by as many shareholders as possible".