Düsseldorf (dpa / tmn) - For investors, the balance sheet scandal at the payment service provider Wirecard is a fiasco. "Many are desperate because the damage suffered is high," said Marc Thüngler, chief executive of the German Association for the Protection of Securities (DSW).

Those affected could possibly be entitled to compensation. Together with the European investor association Better Finance, DSW wants to build a platform through which affected investors can organize. Investors can register for an information service that will inform them of the next steps. The platform should be ready by late summer.

Out-of-court settlement can be an alternative

"A lawsuit is obviously the means of choice for investors," said Thüngler. "But we are also working on alternative solutions." For example, an out-of-court agreement would be possible, similar to how the Federal Consumer Association (vzbv) reached with the Volkswagen Group in the diesel scandal.

On June 18, Wirecard had to make public that the auditor EY had refused the certificate for 2019. Around 1.9 billion euros, which were supposed to be in escrow accounts, could not be found. Wirecard then filed for bankruptcy on June 25.

Claims expire after three years

In the opinion of DSW, not only shareholders are damaged, but also owners of Wirecard bonds or derivatives based on Wirecard shares. Those affected should not act hastily, advised DSW Vice President Klaus Nieding.

Before a possible complaint, many questions would have to be clarified. So there are not only many bases for claims, but also several possible opponents of the process with the board of directors, the supervisory board or auditors. "You shouldn't shoot too fast, but first look at the ammunition." Due to the three-year limitation period, there is time until the end of 2022 to make claims.

Don't sell stocks too quickly

Affected shareholders should also consider whether to sell the Wirecard shares. The losses could then be offset against other stock gains. A reversal damage can then no longer be claimed in court, but only a difference in exchange rate differences, explained Nieding.

In the case of reverse settlement damage, the money for the investment made is reclaimed. In the case of price difference damage, however, the claim relates to the price loss that investors have suffered.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 200716-99-819046 / 4

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