BERLIN (Reuters) – German accounting watchdog APAS banned EY, which audited Wirecard from 2016 to 2018, from carrying out new audits for listed companies for two years and fined it 500,000 euros, a German business daily Handelsblatt reported on Monday.
APAS declined to comment on the matter. The regulator is expected to issue a statement on its decision to sanction EY later on Monday.
EY, formerly Ernst & Young, was not immediately available for comment.
Wirecard filed for insolvency proceedings in June 2020 and owes its creditors almost $4 billion, after revealing a €1.9 billion hole in its accounts which EY said was the result of a sophisticated fraud on a global scale.
The company, founded in 1999, started out processing payments for gambling and porn sites before becoming a fintech star and a member of Germany’s DAX index.
Its collapse, the biggest accounting scandal of post-war Germany, tarnished the country’s financial reputation and splashed the political sphere.
APAS says it has seen massive failings by EY, Handelsblatt reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
EY is banned from participating in tenders for the audit of certain companies for two years. These include all listed companies as well as the majority of the financial sector made up of banks and insurance companies, according to Handelsblatt.
(Reporting Joern Poltz, written by Linda Pasquini; French version Nathan Vifflin, editing by Kate Entringer)
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