Singapore’s central bank yesterday said that German payment company Wirecard AG’s local entities had informed it that they are assessing their ability to continue providing services in the city-state after their parent firm filed for insolvency.
“Credit-card payments at merchants using Wirecard’s services, as well as usage of prepaid cards issued by Wirecard, will be affected if it ceases operations here,” the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in a statement.
There was no immediate response from Wirecard to a query sent outside business hours.
Last week, Wirecard filed for insolvency owing creditors almost US$4 billion after disclosing a US$2.1 billion hole in its accounts that its auditor Ernst & Young said was the result of a sophisticated global fraud.
Singapore is home to Wirecard’s Asia-Pacific headquarters, where its main business is to process payments for merchants and assist companies in issuing prepaid cards.
MAS late on Monday said that it was working with the local police’s white-collar crime unit and the accounting regulator to scrutinize Wirecard’s local entities.
The Singaporean Department of Commercial Affairs began criminal investigations into Wirecard’s Singapore operations in February last year and MAS said the investigations “are extensive and ongoing.”
Yesterday, MAS said Wirecard’s entities had complied with its directions to hold customer funds in segregated accounts with banks in Singapore.
Separately, Solarisbank AG, a German lender backed by Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA and ABN Amro Bank NV, is raising additional funds as it looks to win customers from Wirecard.
New and existing investors would take part in the 60 million euro (US$67 million) round, Solarisbank said yesterday, increasing the firm’s valuation to 320 million euros.
“We want to use the money to expand our platform,” chief executive officer Roland Folz said in an interview. “We hope that some of the companies that have previously used Wirecard will switch to our platform.”
Additional reporting by Bloomberg
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