Wirecard says 2017 audit of Singapore unit not concluded due to probe

Wirecard's shares have whipsawed after several media reports raised questions about accounting methods, all of which the company has rejected.
Wirecard's shares have whipsawed after several media reports raised questions about accounting methods, all of which the company has rejected.PHOTO: REUTERS

BERLIN (BLOOMBERG, REUTERS) - Wirecard AG said it followed all reporting obligations properly, rejecting a news report over delays to an audit of the German company's accounts in Singapore from 2017.

Ernst & Young couldn't form a "final audit opinion" on the Singapore operations based on local SFRS accounting standards because the firm couldn't access all documents due to restrictions from an ongoing investigation in the Asian country, Wirecard said in a statement on Wednesday (Nov 20). The shares fell about 10 per cent in pre-market trading.

It was not due to, "as mistakenly suggested in the article, by irregularities", Wirecard said. "The local financial statements were duly audited within this scope." A spokesman for Ernst & Young in Germany declined to comment, citing client confidentiality.

Wirecard's shares have whipsawed this year after several media reports raised questions about accounting methods, all of which the company has rejected. The digital payments company is bolstering best practices by ramping up the number of employees in compliance by about 50 per cent to 230 this year and by splitting its legal and compliance departments.

Ernst & Young can't determine the adequacy, completeness and accuracy of the financial statements of Wirecard Singapore unit, German daily Handelsblatt reported late on Tuesday, citing a statement from the auditor filed to the Singapore financial regulator.

Wirecard said the restrictions weren't relevant for the audits of the consolidated financial statements in accordance with IFRS, adding that its annual reports for 2017 and 2018 aren't affected.

"All reporting obligations have been followed properly including the auditor's opinion on the local stand-alone Financial Statements 2017", which has been filed with the authorities in Singapore, Wirecard said. "The reporting of the stand-alone financial statements for the financial year 2018 is close to completion."