City watchdog hires accountancy firm BDO to assist with Wirecard monitoring

From: RegTech Analyst

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has tapped a team at accountancy firm BDO to help it monitor beleaguered FinTech Wirecard following the huge scandal.

Sky News has learnt that the City watchdog has hired the firm to assist in the process of coming up with an appropriate response to the collapse of the German FinTech giant.

The publication heard from a source close to the regulator that BDO is helping it ensure Wirecard stays on top of the restrictions imposed on the imploded company, including keeping relevant funds safeguarded in accounts overseen by British banking supervisors.

It is unclear why the FCA needed to enlist the services of an outside contractor for this task.

The news comes two weeks after the FCA eased some of the restrictions it had imposed on Wirecard in the immediate aftermath of the company filing for insolvency.

The freeze imposed on Wirecard’s regulated activities in the UK on June 26 saw FinTech startups like Curve, Pockit, ANNA Money and Holvi be forced to suspend parts of their services. Although, some of these companies had already made arrangements that would enable them to resume their services before the FCA announced that it was lifting the ban.

While whispers had been circulating for years that everything wasn’t right with Wirecard’s accounts, it wasn’t until June this year that things came to a boil when the company was unable to account for €1.9bn ($2.1bn) of its balances.

It later admitted that the money probably never existed in the first place.

More details about a massive alleged global fraud have come to light in the weeks that have followed with many of the company’s top executives having been arrested or are being sought after by the authorities.

The scandal has also sparked calls for regulators to impose stricter scrutiny of the FinTech industry as the irregularities in Wirecard’s balances went unchecked for years.

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