Wirecard CEO resigns as Asian banks deny having missing cash

The departure of the German payment group’s CEO comes a day after auditor EY said it would not sign off the accounts due to €1.9bn of cash being missing

Wirecard chief executive Markus Braun has resigned a day after the company’s auditor refused to sign off its accounts.

James Freis has been appointed interim chief executive, the payments company said on Friday, having been appointed as a member of the management board a day earlier.

On Thursday, auditor EY said it would not sign off Wirecard’s accounts as there was around €1.9bn of cash for which it could find no evidence.

The missing cash was supposedly being held by two Philippino banks, BDO Unibank Inc and the Bank of the Philippine Islands.

But both said on Friday that Wirecard was not even a client.

The German payments group, which has provided the financial backbone for countless fintech companies including Monzo, Revolut, Loot, Curve, Funding Circle and Atom, warned that a failure to publish its certified accounts by Friday would mean lenders could call in €2bn of loans.

If the missing €1.9bn cannot be located, analysts at Morgan Stanley calculate Wirecard has available cash of roughly €220mln.

Wirecard’s shares fell around 60% on Thursday and on Friday were down another 35% to €25.30.

Braun, who has been CEO since 2002, owns a 7% stake in the company.

Read More: Wirecard CEO resigns as Asian banks deny having missing cash

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