October 7, 2022

Philippine Central Bank Disqualifies Bankers Linked to Wirecard

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The Wirecard AG logo sits on the company’s headquarters during a police and prosecutors raid in Munich, Germany, on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. Wirecard offices in Germany and two locations in Austria were raided by Munich prosecutors looking into the 1.9 billion euros ($2.1 billion) that went missing from the fintech company’s accounts.

The Philippine central bank said it will ban from the industry former bank employees who allegedly falsified documents for German payments company Wirecard AG.

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Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is adding the former bankers to a list of persons disqualified from becoming directors or officers at any supervised financial institution, it said in an email to Bloomberg on Wednesday.

Wirecard filed for bankruptcy in June after acknowledging that 1.9 billion euros ($2.2 billion) it had listed as assets didn’t exist, triggering an investigation that spans from Europe to Asia. BDO Unibank Inc. and Bank of the Philippine Islands have said rogue employees falsified documents purporting to show Wirecard had deposit accounts at two of the country’s largest lenders.

Meanwhile, the Philippines’ dirty money watchdog on Wednesday said it’s been coordinating with German and Singaporean authorities in investigating Wirecard and persons of interest. It reminded banks to strengthen their know-your-customer protocols.

The Anti-Money Laundering Council on Sept. 11 said it has identified 57 “persons of interest,” including foreigners and local bank officers and government officials, whose links to Wirecard are being scrutinized.

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