Wirecard negotiating with regulators as UK fintechs disrupted


Wirecard AG announced that it plans to continue operations after filing for insolvency in a Munich court, saying the company’s management board believes that remaining open is in the best interests of its creditors.

The Germany-based payments firm issued a statement Saturday that the court appointed Munich-based attorney Michael Jaffee as an official expert, and the court will determine whether insolvency proceedings will be opened. The board expects a provisional insolvency administrator will be appointed soon, according to the Wirecard statement.

The company said that Wirecard Bank is not part of the insolvency proceedings and that electronic funds transfers from Wirecard Bank are not affected. Wirecard Bank will continue payouts to merchants, according to the statement.

Meanwhile, the company’s U.K. unit, Wirecard Card Solutions Ltd., has suspended operations, which followed an order from the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority. Wirecard has held talks with FCA officials and is hopeful that operations will continue there.

The FCA issued a statement on Monday regarding the order, saying that officials from the U.K.and other countries were “seeing good progress” in terms of Wirecard meeting the conditions it set out.

“We are maintaining pressure on the firm to resolve these issues which could allow it to operate under certain conditions,” FCA officials said in the statement. “However we cannot lift the restrictions without reassuring ourselves that the firm has been able to satisfy all our concerns that clients’ money is safe.”

The FCA order disrupted operations at three U.K.-based fintechs, including Curve, Anna Money and Pockit.

Curve issued a statement saying it has severed all ties with Wirecard and switched to Mastercard to help it with its card issuing capability and Checkout.com to process payments.

Anna posted an update on its website with Q&A regarding how the FCA order left its accounts frozen. The company said that accounts were being held by Wirecard in a ring fenced account at Barclays. Anna said that it expects the freeze to be lifted, but it is talking with two payments providers about moving away from Wirecard and is talking with Mastercard about switching to a new payment provider.