BaFin chief to step down after Wirecard scandal
The Federal Ministry of Finance commissioned an investigation by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) last autumn, whose results would be presented next week. The ministry announced the decision to reorganise BaFin. The planned organisational reform of BaFin will be combined with a new start in terms of personnel, including the person at the top, said Olaf Scholz, German finance minister. Hufeld had been at the helm of BaFin for eight years, six of them as the president. Hufeld will stay on until March 31 for a smooth transfer to his successor.
Wirecard came under the scanner in June 2020, when the company failed to account for €1.9bn of missing cash, causing a huge fall from its prominent position. European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) launched an investigation into BaFin’s supervision of Wirecard, where it identified several deficiencies. The EU securities regulator also identified a heightened risk of the German finance ministry’s influence on BaFin and flagged the lack of German regulator’s lack of information of its employees’ shareholdings, as its Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) team members were found to be trading in Wirecard shares, before the company folded, creating a conflict of interest and inciting suspicions of insider trading.