Following a series of accounting fraud scandals that resulted in the insolvency of German processor and payments provider Wirecard AG, Banco Santander will be acquiring their payment technology assets for €100 million.
The acquisition only includes the assets related to merchant services and payment processing with the approximately 500 employees who manage the assets, who will now join GETNET, Banco Santander’s global merchant services team. Santander will not take over any Wirecard companies nor assume any liability for related to the global accounting irregularities and fraud of Wirecard AG or Wirecard Bank AG over the past several years.
In June of 2020, Wirecard AG had over $2 billion disappear from their balance sheets and promptly filed for bankruptcy with $3.9 billion owed to creditors. Their CEO was later arrested on suspicion of falsifying accounts and Wirecard became known as the “Enron of Germany” among people who remember that event in the United States, which led to increased compliance regulations. Wirecard’s auditor, EY, has been criticized for not detecting the accounting irregularities that went on for years.