Thousands locked out of bank accounts as regulator freezes Wirecard in UK
29 Juin, 2020, 16:07 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
Following last week's action by the Financial Conduct Authority to suspend business at Wirecard UK, the watchdog says it has seen good progress by the battered payments processor in meeting conditions for a return to operational activity. Customer cash will be frozen.
Wirecard UK will be allowed to process fund withdrawals from its users, merchants and clients on the behest of their instructions, with transactions overseen by the FCA. "What the hell is going on???" tweeted a customer of business account provider ANNA.
It said there are around 50,000 cards in circulation but can not confirm the amount of money on them. Furthermore, the financial services regulatory body underlined that Wirecard is restricted from disposing on any assets and funds during its period of investigation.
While Wirecard awaits the outcome of insolvency proceedings, rumours abound that Visa and Mastercard are preparing to cut the cord with the payments processor, a move that would put the company into a tailspin from which there would be little hope of a recovery.
"This disruption is expected to last for a limited time only and we are focussed on completing this transition as quickly as possible". The company, once worth over €20bn (£18bn, $22bn), collapsed after admitting to a €1.9bn hole in its balance sheet.
"Our primary objective is to protect the interests and money of consumers who use Wirecard", the FCA stated.
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The news comes just days after Markus Braun, the ousted Chief Executive of th global payment processing firm, was arrested on charges of corruption, fraud and executive mismanagement.
"Following last week's news of €1.9bn missing from the accounts of the German company, Wirecard, we immediately placed requirements on the firm's United Kingdom business so that it should not pay out or reduce any money it holds for its customers except on their instructions. This now means customers money can not be accessed", the regulator noted.
Some have spoken of their frustration, but their money should be safe.
On its website, Wirecard Card Solutions said: "Wirecard Card Solutions Limited (WDCS) has temporarily suspended its electronic money issuing, card issuing and acquiring business with immediate effect and until further notice".
Funds are not protected, as they are in banks, by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, but the firm said customers' money was held safely in segregated accounts.
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