Singapore Fines Firms Over Wirecard Payments Scandal

In Singapore, the local financial regulator has decided to impose a penalty in the form of a fine against four companies that are involved in the scandal related to the Wirecard payment firm.

Singapore Fines Firms Over Wirecard Payments Scandal

The total amount of fines, the obligation to pay which applies to four firms, is $2.8 million. The relevant information was reported by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

The regulator stated that during the verification measures it was recorded that the violations are serious, but they are not the result of deliberate actions on the part of employees of companies and organizations represented in the Singapore financial market.

Also this week in Singapore, two former Wirecard employees heard a court verdict, according to which they will spend some time in prison. Former workers of the company were accused of conspiracy, the purpose of which was to embezzle money. One of the convicts will spend 10 months behind bars. The second person involved in this case was sentenced to 21 months in prison.

MAS reports that as part of the proceedings on the fact of the payment scandal, penalties were applied against local banks DBS and OCBC, and Singapore branches of Citigroup and Swiss Life.

DBS, which is currently Singapore’s largest financial institution, was fined $2.6 million. This measure of monetary-material impact is the largest within the framework of the regulator’s decision on the fact of the payment scandal. MAS claims that this financial institution was unable to establish the source of receipt of assets belonging to consumers belonging to high-risk group clients. Also, the bank, according to the regulator’s statement, did not find out the background and purpose of transactions, the size of which significantly exceeds the average volume of such operations.

The decisions of the Singapore regulator were the first in the world as part of the Wirecard scandal. This payment company, which is based in Germany, filed for insolvency in 2020. This happened after a kind of $2.1 billion hole was discovered in the firm’s accounts. In December last year, the former head of the company, Marcus Braun, appeared in court as accused of involvement in the largest fraudulent scheme in the history of Germany. The prosecutor’s office stated that he signed the financial statements, reliably knowing that they contain inaccurate information.

German law enforcement officers also claimed that Wirecard forged documents about the presence of money in the company, which in fact was not. Marcus Brown denies involvement in illegal activities. The trial, according to preliminary data, will last until 2024.

In April 2023, German regulators fined and banned the accounting firm EY from conducting an audit for Wirecard. Within the framework of this decision, the company cannot conduct and accept new audit assignments for two years.

The Wirecard scandal actually began in 2019, but then it had a limited scale. At that time the media accused the company of involvement in the creation of fake contracts. The firm said that such accusations are slander. But soon the leaked documents testified to accounting problems concerning the company’s Asian operations.

As we have reported earlier, Singapore and Malaysia Launch Cross-Border QR-Code Merchant Payments.

Serhii Mikhailov

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Serhii’s track record of study and work spans six years at the Faculty of Philology and eight years in the media, during which he has developed a deep understanding of various aspects of the industry and honed his writing skills; his areas of expertise include fintech, payments, cryptocurrency, and financial services, and he is constantly keeping a close eye on the latest developments and innovations in these fields, as he believes that they will have a significant impact on the future direction of the economy as a whole.