Business

Wirecard widens scope of KPMG audit to fight claims of fraud

FRANKFURT Wirecard said on Wednesday it had widened the scope of a KPMG audit to draw a line under allegations that it manipulated its accounts, adding that it expects to be cleared in a Singapore police investigation.

The German payments company last month brought in KPMG to investigate allegations by the Financial Times, which Wirecard denies, that its finance team sought to inflate reported sales and profits at its units in Ireland and Dubai.

"We can totally confirm today that all of these allegations are unfounded," chief executive Markus Braun said.

"But still, to give an additional service to the market and to bring down all these allegations, we decided to include here a second review by KPMG," he added as the company reported a 43 per cent gain in quarterly profit.

Mr Braun told analysts KPMG's mandate would be expanded to cover separate claims that Wirecard had overstated cash advances to merchants, and in relation to its accounting for third-party acquiring.

KPMG is expected to complete its work before the end of the first quarter of next year.

Wirecard has sued the FT, which has stood by coverage that began in January alleging fraud and false accounting at Wirecard's Singapore office.

As much as US$10 billion (S$13.6 billion) was wiped off Wirecard's stock market value and police raided its Singapore offices.

Mr Braun said he expected the Singaporean investigation to confirm the findings of Wirecard's own law firm which said there was no evidence of material wrongdoing. - REUTERS

BUSINESS & FINANCE