Before the Wirecard bankruptcy, employees of the financial supervisory authority Bafin increasingly traded in papers from the payment provider: In the first half of 2020, 2.4 percent of all reported private financial transactions by Bafin employees were in Wirecard shares or securities derived from them. This emerges from the answers of the Federal Ministry of Finance to a catalog of questions from the Greens that the Reuters news agency has received.
The Bafin is subordinate to the Federal Ministry of Finance. Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) and the authority are criticized for the Wirecard scandal.
As the ministry's reply also shows, the share of Wirecard transactions in private trade among Bafin employees was only 1.2 percent in 2018 as a whole. In 2019 it was 1.7 percent. The increase was explained by the authority with the higher fluctuations in the share price through the reports on Wirecard and the company's ad hoc reports, the paper continues. Compared to the transactions of the Bafin employees with other DAX values, whose prices fluctuated strongly, their trading in Wirecard papers is "not unusual or not conspicuous".
According to the Ministry of Finance, around a fifth of Bafin employees reported private financial transactions in 2019 and the first half of 2020. They were all approved by the line managers. This confirmed that there was no knowledge of inside information about private financial transactions.
Von Beust worked for Wirecard
The answer from the ministry shows that Ole von Beust, the former First Mayor of Hamburg, campaigned for Wirecard at the Federal Chancellery. The AFP reports.
In his capacity as a member of the von Beust & Coll. Consulting company, the former top politician turned to Lars-Hendrik Röller, the economic advisor to Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), in March 2020. On behalf of Wirecard, von Beust asked "for further information on the EU-China summit planned under the German EU Council Presidency in Leipzig (including a possible accompanying program for companies)". The summit has since been canceled due to the corona pandemic.
The Beust & Coll consultancy. confirmed to Spiegel that they "worked for Wirecard AG from June 1, 2018 to July 13, 2020". "We ended the business relationship."
Greens criticize processing
The Greens accuse the federal government of delaying the investigation of the Wirecard scandal. "89 questions, but hardly any new findings," said the party's financial policy spokesman, Lisa Paus, on the answers given by the Federal Ministry of Finance. They are "often succinct or subject to secrecy." The special meeting of the finance committee at the end of August should bring more transparency. "But if one hundred percent clearing up is only possible through a committee of inquiry, then this becomes inevitable." Fractional leader Anton Hofreiter also told the Rheinische Post that he thought a parliamentary committee of inquiry was "almost inevitable".
Wirecard had to file for bankruptcy at the end of June. A public search is now underway for the volatile director Jan Marsalek. The former CEO Markus Braun and the former CFO Burkhard Ley as well as other managers have been in custody since the end of July.
The investigators accuse Braun and other managers of having inflated the payment provider's total assets and sales through sham deals at least since the end of 2015. On this basis, banks and other investors would have provided a total of 3.2 billion euros. The money is likely to be lost. Wirecard, which was only promoted to the Dax in September 2018, will still be out of the German benchmark index in August. The share, which was once listed at almost 200 euros, fell eleven percent on Thursday to 1.43 euros.