Wirecard scandal: BAFin not liable
The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BAFin) is not liable to injured Wirecard investors. This has now been decided in the second instance by the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court (1 U 173/22), thus confirming the ruling of the lower court.
In June 2020, the financial services provider was forced to admit that 1.9 billion euros, which should have been in escrow accounts in Asia, could not be found. As a result, the share price plummeted dramatically, and Wirecard had to file for insolvency a short time later.
As a result, the German financial supervisory authority also came under heavy criticism. For years, the BAFin had protected the then Dax company and failed to discover the fraudulent activities.
Nearly 500 proceedings by aggrieved investors are pending before the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court, claiming damages from BAFin. In the specific case, claims for damages of approximately 40,000 euros were at issue.
However, the court now ruled that the authority had not violated its official duties. Thus, the plaintiff had “not presented any tangible evidence for the assumption” that BAFin should have commissioned a special audit at an earlier point in time. The court also ruled out a claim for damages for breach of official duty. The fact that employees of the supervisory authority held shares in Wirecard AG was also “not immoral”.
The decision of the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court is not yet final.
Action Options For Investors
However, aggrieved Wirecard investors should not be unsettled by this ruling. The lawyers from the law firm Schirp & Partner already assumed when the Wirecard scandal became known that a lawsuit against BAFin would have little chance of success. Instead, we recommend that those who are willing to sue assert their claims against Wirecard AG’s long-standing auditor, Ernst & Young (EY).
Injured parties can file individual lawsuits or join the Capital Investor Model Proceedings (KapMuG), which have been opened in the meantime. In such proceedings, the claims of aggrieved investors are bundled and legal disputes are resolved in a single trial with a model plaintiff. The law firm Schirp & Partner represents the largest group of suspended proceedings and has applied to represent the model plaintiff in order to advance the KapMuG proceedings as quickly as possible and in the interests of the aggrieved parties.
We will be happy to register for the model proceedings on your behalf. Further information on the Wirecard scandal and our action against EY can be found here.