Germany’s Trading Exchange Manager Seeks To Call Out Rule-Breaking Companies

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Deutsche Boerse, Germany’s exchange manager for trading shares and other securities, is seeking Parliament’s approval to “name and shame” companies in the wake of the Wirecard AG scandal, Reuters reported.

In a Wednesday (Sept. 2) address at a banking conference outlining reforms in the aftermath of the biggest alleged corporate fraud in generations, CEO Theodor Weimer said that he and other exchanges want to go public when a company breaks the rules, such as being late in publishing its earnings.

“We will certainly go in the direction of naming and shaming,” he said.

Weimer said that in a closed-door session about Wirecard, he told attendees that he urged the Parliament to change laws to allow public shaming. He also noted that lawmakers are considering increasing sanctions and revising corporate governance rules for membership of Germany’s blue-chip stocks.

On Tuesday (Sept. 1), the Financial Times reported that the Bundestag, Germany’s Parliament, is planning to hold an inquiry into the payment company.

As questions mount about the government’s failure to prevent the fraud, lawmakers want answers.

“Over several months, the government has not succeeded in comprehensively and thoroughly clearing up the Wirecard scandal, despite special sessions, parliamentary questions and lots of opportunities,” Danyal Bayaz, a member of the country’s Green political party, told the newspaper. “There are still a lot of questions and inconsistencies. That’s why we need an investigative committee, with a clear mission.”

The German payment processing firm filed for bankruptcy protection in June after admitting that 1.9 billion euros ($2.1 billion) said to have been deposited in two Philippines banks did not exist. It later failed under debt of 3.5 billion euros ($4.2 billion).

German market watchdog Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), has faced criticism for its failure to act in the Wirecard scandal, as the regulator reportedly failed to investigate warnings about the payments firm and instead cast more scrutiny on accusers, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Despite calls for his resignation in the wake of the Wirecard AG scandal, Felix Hufeld, president of BaFin, has refused to leave his post. While he acknowledged that the nation’s regulatory agency should have called for a Wirecard investigation sooner, Hufeld told reporters on Wednesday (Sept. 2) that he will not resign “as long as my country and Europe have trust in me,” the Financial Times reported.

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