Wirecard scandal: Germany will replace chief financial supervisor | News | DW | Instant News


Felix Hufeld, head of the German financial controller BaFin, was replaced as the impact of the Wirecard scandal continues to grow.

Minister of Finance Olaf Scholz announced the move on Friday, saying it was part of an effort to overhaul the agency.

“The Wirecard scandal reveals that Germany’s financial regulator needs reorganization to fulfill its supervisory role more effectively,” said a ministry statement.

Scholz thanked Hufeld for his years of service, adding that the personnel reshuffle was a “new beginning” for regulators.

The ministry statement did not identify Hufeld’s successor.

The news came after BaFin announced one of its own employees is suspected of insider trading connected to the Wirecard collapse.

Regulator under attack

Digital payments company Wirecard was a rising star in the fintech sector before becoming one of Germany’s biggest fraud scandals.

In June last year, the company acknowledged that € 1.9 billion ($ 2.1 billion) of assets had not been discovered. The company filed for bankruptcy just days after the announcement.

Initial investigations suggest that the company may have been cooking its books since 2015.

BaFin is under immense pressure over the scandal, with regulators accused of poor oversight and missing warning signs that have allowed accounting fraud to continue for years.

A parliamentary committee has been tasked with finding out who knows what and when. Chancellor Angela Merkel and Minister of Finance Scholz will be criticized by lawmakers as part of the investigation.

rs / sms (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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