In the Wirecard scandal, the auditor supervision investigates the company EY. The Federal Ministry of Economics has confirmed this. The Handelsblatt had previously reported on this. The ministry now announced that the statutory auditor supervisory body (Apas) had the legally mandated mandate to check compliance with the professional obligations of statutory auditors at companies of public interest, including Wirecard AG.
In the Wirecard case, Apas initiated a preliminary investigation in October 2019. According to the ministry, it was put into formal professional supervision procedures in May 2020 after a report by the accounting firm KPMG was published. These procedures are ongoing.
According to Handelsblatt , Apas is examining all annual and consolidated financial statements audits by EY at Wirecard from 2015 to determine whether legal and professional requirements have been met. In the event of breaches of duty, Apas has far-reaching sanction options, including exclusion from the profession.
EY is heavily criticized because Wirecard auditors have certified a correct balance sheet for years. The payment service provider had filed for bankruptcy at the end of June. The company had previously had to admit that the EUR 1.9 billion in the balance sheet that was supposed to be in Asian bank accounts could not be found. EY itself stated that there was clear evidence of "extensive fraud" involving several parties around the world with deliberate intent to deceive.
After the inspection became known, EY announced: "We support all official investigations in the Wirecard case and work in full with all responsible authorities and supervisory authorities". EY discovered counterfeits as part of the final audit for the 2019 financial year and communicated this to the responsible authorities.
In this case, the Munich public prosecutor's office is investigating. She assumes commercial gangs fraud, several high ex-managers are in custody. The scandal is also politically explosive: Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD), who is responsible for banking supervision Bafin, and Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier (CDU), who is responsible for auditing firms, had to answer the Bundestag finance committee last week. A committee of inquiry is also under discussion about what Scholz, as a possible future candidate for chancellor of the SPD, might find inconvenient in the election campaign.