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Wednesday, 08 July 2020

NGO calls for German financial regulation reform in wake of Wirecard scandal

NGO Transparency International said in a 7 July statement that Germany needs to fundamentally reform its financial supervision laws following the collapse of payments company Wirecard.

The NGO highlighted research conducted by German outlet Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that found none of the country’s financial regulation bodies thought they were responsible for preventing money laundering at Wirecard, which processed billions of euros in transactions every year.

Senior Wirecard employees reportedly had links to a network of shell companies that have been accused of money laundering. 

Transparency International said two German regulators, the Financial Supervisory Authority and the Financial Reporting Enforcement Panel, both failed to meet their legal mandate in regards to supervising Wirecard. 

Payments company Wirecard collapsed in June, several weeks after admitting that €1.9 billion in its accounts probably didn’t exist. 

The Netherlands considers reopening ING money laundering case

A court in The Hague has said that it wishes to question Dutch bank ING and its former CEO Ralph Hamers to decide whether it should reopen a money laundering case that the bank settled for €775 million, according to reports.

ING settled the matter with Dutch prosecutors in September 2018, but a group of investors reportedly told the court that justice had not been served by the negotiated resolution. 

The court said it will question Hamers, who is due to become the CEO of Swiss bank UBS, and ING before deciding on whether to reopen the investigation.

The €775 million settlement will reportedly become invalid if the case is reopened.

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