EY, the Firm that Mishandled the Wirecard Audit, Banned in Germany for 2 Years

The spectacular collapse of Wirecard, once Germany’s largest Fintech, still reverberates within the country. While different pieces and parts have been sold off to various firms, the collateral damage continues, and new information continues to emerge. Today, EY – once the auditor of Wirecard, has been banned from taking new clients in Germany for two years while receiving a penalty of €500,000.

The Auditor Oversight Body (APAS) at the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) issued a statement earlier today that was a bit opaque as it does not mention EY at all. To quote APAS:

“The decision-making chamber “professional supervision” of the auditor oversight made its decision on March 31, 2023. In the audit of the financial statements of Wirecard AG and Wirecard Bank AG in the years 2016 to 2018, it regards breaches of professional duty as proven and has imposed sanctions on the auditing company itself and five auditors. In the case of seven other auditors, the respective professional supervision procedures were legally discontinued due to the waiver of the appointment as auditor, since the APAS only has jurisdiction over current members of the profession.”


“Due to the uniformity of the breaches of professional duty, all breaches of duty known to date with regard to a test object are to be punished with a sanction. The law expressly does not provide for a separate sanction for each individual breach of professional duties. When determining sanctions, all relevant circumstances must be taken into account.”

It has been widely reported that EY was the auditor of record when Wirecard failed, an event that EY should have uncovered if it had done an effective job.

According to Reuters, EY said that it had been informed by APAS that an investigation had been completed, but the regulator had not shared its decision.

Wirecard filed for bankruptcy after it was revealed that it had misplaced billions of dollars.

Still, today, Jan Marsalek, Wirecard‘s former COO, is on the lam and has not been arrested with claims of money being transferred to Bitcoin to evade regulators and law enforcement.

Former CEO Markus Braun is being prosecuted for fraud while claiming his innocence or at least ignorance of nefarious activities at the Fintech.

The failure of Wirecard rattled Bafin and other public officials which may be inclined to overreact to any allegations of malfeasance to guard against another calamitous event in the financial services sector.

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