Wirecard’s missing money didn’t enter Philippine financial system, central bank says

The headquarters of Wirecard AG, an independent provider of outsourcing and white label solutions for electronic payment transactions is seen in Aschheim near Munich, Germany April 25, 2019. REUTERS/Michael Dalder

None of the $2.1 billion missing from scandal-hit German payments firm Wirecard AG appears to have entered the Philippine financial system, the central bank said on Sunday.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno said in a statement the Southeast Asian country’s biggest lenders, BDO Unibank and Bank of the Philippine Islands, suffered no losses, despite having been named in connection with the missing funds.

The chief executive of Wirecard, Markus Braun, who built the company into one of the hottest financial technology investments in Europe and a rare tech champion for Germany, quit on Friday as the company faces a cash crunch after saying it may have been the victim of fraud.

The search for the missing cash hit a dead end in the Philippines, but the two Philippine banks have said documents purporting to show Wirecard had deposited funds with them were false.

“The initial report is that no money entered the Philippines and that there is no loss to both banks,” Diokno said, though he added that the central bank was investigating.

“The international financial scandal used the names of two of the country’s biggest banks — BDO and BPI — in an attempt to cover the perpetrators’ track,” he said.

BDO and BPI have stated that Wirecard was not their client and that they had no business relationship with the German firm, Diokno said.

BPI, however, told Reuters on Saturday that it had suspended an assistant manager whose signature appeared on one of the fraudulent documents.

BDO told the central bank that it appeared one of its marketing officers had fabricated a bank certificate.

Diokno reiterated the Philippine banking system was in a strong position going into the coronavirus pandemic and well-capitalised.

Reuters

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.