Deutsche Bank executive seeks injunction over Wirecard report

A senior Deutsche Bank executive and former EY partner who was in charge of Wirecard audits has taken legal action to try to prevent a German parliamentary committee naming him in a report into the scandal.

Andreas Loetscher, who was one of EY’s two lead audit partners on Wirecard between 2015 to 2017, on Monday asked Berlin’s administrative court for an injunction against the publication of the report, which will be discussed in the Bundestag on Friday, the first anniversary of Wirecard’s insolvency.

The move is part of a battle between Wirecard’s former auditors and German lawmakers. EY is already at loggerheads with parliament about the publication of a separate scathing report by a special investigator, who concluded that the audits suffered from a series of significant shortcomings.

People familiar with the matter told the FT that the application for an injunction was filed in Loetscher’s private capacity and that the move was not co-ordinated with his current or former employers. Deutsche declined to comment and EY did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Wirecard collapsed after acknowledging that €1.9bn in corporate cash may never have existed. It had previously received unqualified audits from EY for more than a decade.

Loetscher joined Deutsche in 2018 as head of accounting after more than two decades at EY. He temporarily stepped aside from that position late last year but has remained as an adviser on audit matters.

He has claimed that the job switch was the result of “untenable suspicions” from the committee. At the time, Deutsche said it occurred “at Andreas’ request and by mutual agreement”.

Loetscher’s work as lead auditor is public knowledge as he personally signed Wirecard’s audits, and his last name was mentioned in the defunct group’s publicly available annual results.

Last November, when he was invited as a witness to the parliamentary hearings into the Wirecard scandal, he declined to answer questions, citing an investigation into his conduct by regulators.

Shortly afterwards, Munich criminal prosecutors announced that they had launched a criminal investigation into certain EY partners over Wirecard.

Loetscher, who has denied any wrongdoing, has argued that any mention of his name in the public report would violate his personality rights. His lawyers have suggested that he could be referred to by his initials, rather than his full name.

Loetscher and his lawyer did not immediately respond to an inquiry by the FT.

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