Singapore tells Wirecard to cease services, return customer funds

FILE PHOTO: 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, September 22, 2020. REUTERS/Michael Dalder

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore’s central bank on Wednesday directed embattled German payments firm Wirecard to cease providing services in the city state and return all customers’ funds.

Wirecard, which primarily processes payments for merchants and helps companies to issue pre-paid cards in Singapore, filed for insolvency in June after a 1.9 billion euro (1.8 billion pounds) hole was discovered in its books.

Singapore police are among a number of global authorities investigating Germany’s biggest post-war corporate fraud.

“Wirecard SG has informed MAS that it is unable to continue providing payment processing services to a significant number of merchants,” the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in a statement.

“MAS has assessed that it is in the interest of the public for Wirecard SG to cease its payments services and promptly return all customers’ funds.”

The MAS added that the actions must be taken by Oct. 14.

MAS also said it had been working to safeguard the interests of Wirecard’s Singapore customers in recent months by requiring the company to keep their funds in banks and help them to switch to alternative service providers.

Reporting by John Geddie; Editing by Louise Heavens and David Goodman