The logo of Wirecard AG is pictured at its headquarters in Aschheim
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Wirecard AG, an independent provider of outsourcing and white label solutions for electronic payment transactions, is pictured at its headquarters in Aschheim, near Munich, Germany, July 1, 2020. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert

December 14, 2020

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany’s Federal Office of Economics and Export Control Bafa said on Monday that the head of the agency that regulates auditors in Germany had been relieved of his duties over personal dealings in Wirecard shares weeks before its collapse.

Bafa said the departure of Ralf Bose was intended to ensure the integrity of the regulator, Apas, until the facts of the case have been clarified.

There is no evidence that Bose broke any rules in trading shares of the payment processor while the federal agency was investigating the role of Wirecard auditor Ernst & Young (EY).

Bose told a parliamentary committee last week that he had dealt in Wirecard shares shortly before its collapse, buying them on Apr. 28 and selling them on May 20.

Reuters was not immediately able to contact Bose.

EY audited Wirecard’s accounts for years until the company imploded following the discovery of a 1.9 billion euro ($2.3 billion) hole in its accounts.

The Wirecard case has become an embarrassment for German officials and authorities, who have been accused of failing to sufficiently monitor the company, which was once worth $28 billion and was widely praised as a rare German tech champion.

(Reporting by Hans Seidenstücker and Christian Krämer; Writing by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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