Wirecard ‘making good progress’ to resolve issues, regulator says
On Friday, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) ordered Wirecard not to dispose of any assets or funds and was told to cease all regulated activities in the wake of its revelation that €1.9bn had gone ‘missing’.
The fund freeze has hit many people hard, as it affects other firms which use Wirecard services, including Anna Money, Pockit, Curve and FairFX, to name a few.
Today the FCA has provided an update which stated: “Following last week’s news of €1.9bn missing from the accounts of the German company, Wirecard, we placed requirements on the firm’s UK business so that it should stop carrying out regulated activities and not pay out or reduce any money it holds. Our primary objective all along has been to protect the interests and money of consumers who use Wirecard.
“Teams from across the FCA have been working with the firm, and other international and UK authorities, over the weekend, and we have seen good progress by the firm in meeting the conditions we set.
“We are maintaining pressure on the firm to resolve these issues which would allow it to operate under certain conditions. However, we cannot lift the restrictions without reassuring ourselves that the firm has been able to satisfy all our concerns for example that all clients’ money is safe. We hope to be able to issue an update soon.”
According to MoneySavingExpert.com founder, Martin Lewis, people will likely be re-allowed access to their cash within days.
He said: “Decoding the FCA’s statement, those who are locked out of their accounts have a reasonable expectation that they will see the money by the middle of this week – Wednesday or Thursday. And speed is crucial. 100,000s of accounts have been frozen, including those of many vulnerable people who use these payment accounts as their primary form of ‘banking’ and it’s where their social security payments are made. The lack of access to their funds has left many in a state of extreme anxiety.”
Curve today told YourMoney that customers can use their cards as normal. The Curve card allows customers to link their debit and credit cards in one place, with payment then charged back to those accounts.
Any UK customers who receive benefits into their Wirecard account are urged to contact the Department for Work and Pensions.
The FCA added that funds aren’t protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) as this doesn’t apply to electronic money or payment services.
However, the FCA can take ‘safeguarding’ steps to protect and return customer money if a firm was to fail.