German lawmakers launch probe into Wirecard collapse

Market trading boards are seen at the Australian Securities Exchange in Sydney, Friday, February 9, 2018. ( AAP Image/Ben Rushton) NO ARCHIVING

FRANKFURT, Sept 1 (Reuters) – German lawmakers launched a parliamentary enquiry into the collapse of payments firm Wirecard on Tuesday, a probe that will force the government to reveal more about a failure to avert the country’s biggest post-war corporate fraud.

“We want to begin a parliamentary enquiry into the Wirecard scandal,” said Lisa Paus, of the Green party, announcing an alliance with the Left party and pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) in launching the probe.

The implosion of what was seen as a German success story once worth $28 billion has embarrassed the government, which prides itself on a reputation for rectitude and reliability, amid criticism that German authorities ignored many red flags.

Wirecard is now being dismantled, after its disclosure of a 1.9 billion euro hole in its accounts earlier this year triggered its insolvency. (Reporting By Christian Kraemer and John O’Donnell; editing by Tom Sims) ))

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