Missing $2.1B Wirecard cash did not enter PH financial system — BSP

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 21) — The missing $2.1 billion cash of German payments firm Wirecard AG did not make any entry into the Philippine financial system, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said on Sunday.

"The initial report is that no money entered the Philippines and that there is no loss to both banks," BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said in a statement.

The central bank has launched an investigation into reports saying BDO Unibank, Inc. and the Bank of the Philippine Islands held the billions of cash in question, which have yet to be found.

Both banks have since denied claims Wirecard was their client and that they had any business relationship with the firm. They have also informed external auditor Ernst & Young that the documents proving the concerned funds are in their possession are "spurious," added the official.

In a separate statement on Friday, BDO said "[t]he document claiming the existence of a Wirecard account with BDO is a falsified document and carries forged signatures of bank officers." This led to the termination of a marketing officer of the bank, according to a highly-placed source.

READ: Local bank officer sacked for fake document on Wirecard deposits

"The international financial scandal used the names of two of the country's biggest banks — BDO and BPI — in an attempt to cover the perpetrators' track," commented Diokno.

Wirecard, which had been involved in allegations of suspected fraud last year, is facing scrutiny again for postponing the publication of its 2019 financial statements after trust accounts supposedly holding 1.9 billion euros (about ₱107 billion) in overseas accounts were not acknowledged by both local lenders.

The amount is approximately a quarter of the consolidated balance sheet total, said Wirecard in a statement on June 18. Around 2 billion euros of loans made to the German company can be terminated if the concerned funds aren't successfully located, it added.

Amid the controversy, the firm's board had suspended member Jan Marsalek until the end of the month, while long-time CEO Markus Braun resigned on Friday. James Freis Jr. has since been appointed as member of the management board and interim CEO.