Holvi customers can now use their cards again after the Finnish digital banking service for freelancers suspended its services on the back of the Wirecard scandal.
The German FinTech giant has faced two weeks of turmoil after the auditor Ernest & Young refused to sign off on the company’s financial statement for 2019 after it discovered a €1.9bn ($2.1bn) hole in its balance. Wirecard has admitted that the missing money, which represented roughly a quarter of its balance, probably never existed. The company’s CEO Markus Braun first stepped down and was later arrested, accused of having inflated the company’s total assets and sales volumes. Braun was later released on a €5m ($5.66m) bail. Then, on Thursday June 25, Wirecard filed for insolvency. And that was when the troubles for UK FinTechs really started.
Early in the morning of Friday June 26, the FCA ordered Wirecard UK to freeze all of its assets and services. The regulator’s action affected the businesses depending on the German company’s services. Companies like Curve, ANNA Money and Holvi consequently had to freeze their services relying on Wirecard.
FCA has since removed the ban after “working closely with Wirecard UK and other authorities over the last few days to ensure that the firm was able to meet certain conditions required to lift the restrictions”.
As a result, Holvi users can now user their Holvi Business Mastercards again. “The last few days have been intense,” the startup said in a statement. “We’ve been in constant contact with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), trying our hardest to get your cards working again. Last night the FCA made the decision to allow Wirecard Card Solutions Limited (the company providing us with the Holvi Business Mastercard) to partially resume operations. You can read the full statement from the FCA here.
“We know you have lots of questions and we’re working to answer them. We just wanted to send you this message now so that you can go back to focusing on your business. We’re happy to reach this first milestone. But to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again, we’re working on a detailed plan with extra measures. We’ve put your patience to the test and are doing everything we can to regain your trust. We’ll be in touch this week with more information.”
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