Wirecard – damages for investors and investors?
Today (Friday, June 19, 2020), investors and investors are once again eagerly awaiting the presentation of the annual figures of the DAX-listed Wirecard Group.
Our attorneys will review and advise you on the enforcement of claims for damages.
The Wirecard Case
Wirecard annual and consolidated financial statements again postponed
On 18 June 2020, the annual and consolidated financial statements for 2019, which had been eagerly awaited by investors, were postponed once again. And again the reasons for the postponement are alarming.
It was announced that the auditor had informed the Wirecard Group that sufficient audit evidence had not yet been obtained regarding the existence of bank balances on trust accounts to be consolidated in the consolidated financial statements totaling 1.9 billion euros. There were also indications that incorrect balance confirmations had been submitted for the purpose of deception.
Wirecard CEO Markus Braun Steps Down
The long-standing CEO of Wirecard resigned with immediate effect on June 19, 2020. The interim successor to the manager will be James Freis.
The DAX-listed Wirecard Group has already attracted attention in the past with negative headlines.
The British business newspaper “Financial Time”, for example, had already made considerable accusations against Wirecard in 2019.
The accusation: Wirecard is said to have improved its 2017 balance sheet by adding funds parked in trust accounts to its cash reserves.
These accusations alone got the “wunderkind” Wirecard into difficulties on the stock market and into a need for explanations.
As a result, the Wirecard share repeatedly recorded substantial price losses due to the accusations.
Wirecard had always denied these accusations made in public and promised an independent clarification in view of the ongoing criticism.
KMPG Submits Test Report
The highly anticipated expert opinion published on April 28, 2020, by the commissioned auditing and consulting company KPMG, which was awaited with great anticipation, once again hit the Wirecard Group hard.
Whereas Wirecard made efforts to minimize losses in ad hoc announcements, the price of the Wirecard share slumped by 22% on the morning of April 28, 2020.
The report presented by KPMG stated
- „Wirecard AG did not supply some of the documents requested by KPMG during the course of the investigation, or supplied them only several months after being requested, which delayed the investigation overall.
- Wirecard AG postponed individual agreed interview appointments with key Wirecard internal contact persons several times, which also resulted in considerable delays in the investigation.
- Due to a lack of available documents or IT system accesses, individual investigation activities that were originally brought to the attention of the client at the beginning of the investigation could not be carried out in the manner originally intendedn.
- The documents submitted to KPMG were almost exclusively electronic copies whose authenticity could not be verified.“
Wirecard in Need of Explanation
While Wirecard made efforts to mitigate the damage in ad hoc announcements, the price of the company’s share slumped by 22% on the morning of April 28, 2020.
In particular, the accusation made by the “Financial Times” in 2017 could not be dispelled by the audit report.
With regard to the accusations about the so-called Third Party Acquiring, the report was word-for-word:
„With regard to the TPA (Third Party Acquiring) business, our investigation revealed that the transaction data and corresponding settlement evidence for the 2016-2018 investigation period, contracts between the TPA partners and the merchants as well as account statements and bank confirmations for escrow accounts have not yet been made available for the investigation period. At least for the periods 2016 and 2017, the TPA partners are required to cooperate for the purposes of the special forensic investigation due to the lack of their own databases..“
In this respect, too, the Wirecard Group endeavored to settle claims and described these accusations as “documentation and organizational weaknesses during the period under review”.
BaFin and Public Prosecutor’s Office Investigate
Currently, the headlines around the Dax Group are turning over the top.
In the meantime, it has been announced that the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) has filed a criminal complaint about possibly misleading ad hoc announcements by the company.
It has also been announced that the criminal prosecution authorities are investigating Wirecard CEO Markus Braun and his colleagues on the Management Board.
Can investors and investors claim damages from Wirecard?
Against the background of the information now published in the KMPG special report and the further announcement by the auditors on 18 June 2020, the accusations of serious balance sheet manipulation and inadequate design of the Group’s internal compliance system have hardened.
In addition, there are now further indications of Wirecard’s breach of capital market publicity regulations.
Insofar as you have been influenced in your decision as an investor and investor by a breach of the duty to provide information under capital market law, you are entitled to claim damages.
Free Initial Assessment
Herfurtner Attorneys at Law will be pleased to advise you free of charge within the scope of an initial consultation on your case.
During the initial consultation you will receive a concrete recommendation for action and other possible alternatives.
For this purpose, we ask you to submit your transactions in Wirecard shares (WKN: 747206 / ISIN: DE0007472060) or to submit your derivatives.
After reviewing your documents, we will then be pleased to give you a concrete recommendation for your individual case.
You can reach us as quickly as possible using the contact form provided on our website.