Germany’s Altmaier pushes compliance rules after Wirecard scandal

German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier is working on stricter compliance rules for the auditor oversight body Apas after the controversial collapse of payment company Wirecard last year.

Speaking before a parliamentary committee of inquiry into the accounting scandal in the Bundestag, Altmaier said a draft for the corresponding regulatory framework was ready and only needed to be signed.

The move comes after Apas chief Ralf Bose admitted to the parliamentary committee that he bought and sold Wirecard shares, while the watchdog he was in charge of was investigating the now-defunct payment company’s auditor.

Wirecard went bankrupt after admitting in June that 1.9 billion euros (2.2 billion dollars) in assets were likely non-existent, causing its share price to nosedive and former executives to be arrested.

In the wake of the incident, questions have arisen as to why EY, Wirecard’s auditor, had not noticed the financial irregularities.

The German public prosecutor’s office assumes that Wirecard cited incorrect figures in its annual financial statements since 2015.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and her deputy, Olaf Scholz, are also due to appear before the committee.

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