June 30, 2020 / 5:26 AM / 10 days ago

Singapore central bank says Wirecard assessing ability to continue offering local services

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore’s central bank said on Tuesday that German payment company Wirecard’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.

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 April 25, 2019. REUTERS/Michael Dalder/File Photo

“Credit card payments at merchants using Wirecard’s services, as well as usage of pre-paid 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 Reuters query sent outside business hours.

Last week, Wirecard filed for insolvency owing creditors almost $4 billion after disclosing a $2.1 billion hole in its accounts that its auditor EY 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 pre-paid cards.

MAS said late on Monday that it was working with the local police’s white-collar crime unit and the accounting regulator to scrutinise Wirecard’s local entities.

Singapore’s Commercial Affairs Department began criminal investigations into Wirecard’s Singapore operations in February 2019 and MAS said the investigations “are extensive and ongoing.”

On Tuesday, the MAS said Wirecard’s entities had complied with its directions to hold customer funds in segregated accounts with banks in Singapore.

“MAS is closely monitoring the operations of Wirecard,” the central bank said.

($1 = 0.8899 euros)

Reporting by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman & Shri Navaratnam

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