UK’s Financial Conduct Authority lifts some restrictions on Wirecard

The restrictions, imposed on Sunday, revealed a $2 billion hole in the financial platform’s accounts

The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority has lifted restrictions imposed on the German payments processor, Wirecard. Several British FinTech startups were forced to suspend operations and thousands of users’ accounts were locked when the FCA imposed restrictions on the Wirecard’s UK arm after the company’s collapse last week.

Today’s announcement by the FCA allows Wirecard to restart operations and customers will be able to use their cards as usual very shortly.

Wirecard’s auditors revealed a $2 billion hole in its accounts on June 18th, leading to a crash in the company’s share value. UK financial regulators froze the British operations of Wirecard on June 26th in a major effort to contain the company’s $2 billion scandal. The FCA declared that the company will temporarily be suspended from disposing of any funds, and will be unable to continue with normal financial business. The ban left thousands of businesses and consumers unable to access their money on prepaid cards and electronic wallets.

In a press release today, the FCA stated that the German financial platform has met certain requirements to allow Wirecard to restart operations. “We have been working closely with Wirecard UK and other authorities over the last few days to ensure that the firm was able to meet certain conditions required to lift the restrictions we imposed on it. We are now in a position to allow Wirecard to resume operational activity,” the statement read.

The company’s auditor, Ernst & Young, said on June 25 that there were “clear indications that this was an elaborate and sophisticated fraud, involving multiple parties around the world in different institutions, with a deliberate aim of deception.”

The FCA had previously said that Wirecard’s UK business wasn’t covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme — a regulation that protects consumers from financial businesses that run into regulatory trouble.

“We continue to work with the firm and are monitoring it closely to ensure it meets the conditions we have imposed and continues to protect consumers’ money,” the FCA stated.

This also means that about 70 firms that rely on Wirecard can also restart their services. and Visa payments platform, TenX, have announced that they are to resume services in Europe. “We are glad to update you that the TenX Visa card has now been re-enabled along with Buy Bitcoin via credit/debit card feature,” the company said in a statement.

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