January 22, 2021

Central bank bans 2 bank workers involved in Wirecard fraud from working for other financial firms

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 8) — The central bank has banned two bankers who issued fake documents that contributed to the $2.1-billion (about ₱104 billion) Wirecard scandal.

Covered are an employee of BDO Unibank and another from the Bank of the Philippine Islands who were found to have falsified bank certificates to the German firm’s auditor about a supposed trust account holding Wirecard’s money, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno said Thursday.

“The BSP has completed the process for disqualification and inclusion in the BSP’s watch list file of the names of those involved the falsification of documents. As a result, these people will be disqualified from entering the banking system,” Diokno said in a media briefing.

These sanctions are allowed under BSP’s manual of regulations, meant to preserve the integrity of the financial system.

READ: PH reputation unharmed by Wirecard scandal – BSP

The disqualification was based on incident reports submitted by the two lenders about the case, which was exposed in June.

BDO said earlier that it fired a marketing officer upon discovery that the employee issued a fake bank certificate about Wirecard’s money. Days later, BPI said it has also suspended an assistant manager for a similar document that vouched for the inexistent trust account of Wirecard AG to its external auditor, Ernst & Young Germany.

BPI and BDO Unibank both denied that they had a business relationship with the German payments company and that they did not hold any of missing cash. The BSP later on said that none of the supposedly missing funds entered the financial system.

Wirecard later on admitted that the account balances likely did not exist. The e-payments firm has since filed for insolvency in Munich.

Wirecard’s sacked chief executive officer Markus Braun has been arrested in Germany for suspected accounting fraud following the exposé which revealed that the firm could have been padding its financial statements, particularly transaction volumes in Asia, to make it attractive to more investors.

RELATED: Mastercard and Visa reportedly reconsidering their relationship with Wirecard following accounting scandal

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