Wirecard's missing money didn't enter Philippine financial system, central bank says

By Enrico Dela Cruz
MANILA (Reuters) - None of the $ 2.1 billion missing from the scandalized German payment company Wirecard AG appears to have entered the Philippine financial system, the central bank said on Sunday.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas governor Benjamin Diokno said in a statement that the Southeast Asian country's largest lenders, BDO Unibank and Bank of the Philippine Islands, had not suffered losses, despite being mentioned in connection with the lack of funds.
Wirecard's managing director, Markus Braun, who has made the company one of the hottest financial technology investments in Europe and a rare technology champion for Germany, resigned on Friday as the company faces a monetary crisis after claiming to be been the victim of fraud.
The search for the lack of cash ran into a dead end in the Philippines, but the two Philippine banks said documents that allegedly show that Wirecard had deposited money with them were wrong.
"The first report says that no money went to the Philippines and that there was no loss to either bank," said Diokno, although he added that the central bank was conducting an investigation.
"The international financial scandal used the names of two of the country's largest banks - BDO and BPI - to cover up the trail of the perpetrators," he said.
BDO and BPI have stated that Wirecard was not their customer and that they had no business relationship with the German company, said Diokno.
However, BPI informed Reuters on Saturday that it had suspended a deputy manager whose signature appeared on one of the fraudulent documents.
BDO informed the central bank that one of its marketing officers appeared to have issued a bank certificate.
Diokno reaffirmed that the Philippine banking system was in a strong position against the coronavirus pandemic and had good capital resources.
(Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz; editing by William Mallard)

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