LONDON, April 6 (Reuters) - European investor campaign group
Better Finance said on Wednesday it has set up a foundation to
help 30,000 investors recover the 1.5 billion euros ($1.6
billion) they lost when German payments company Wirecard
collapsed in 2020.
Better Finance said the foundation has been set up under
Dutch law to target the global parent of EY, the accounting firm
which audited Wirecard's books.
"The advantage of using a Dutch foundation opens up the
possibility of reaching a settlement with EY, including EY
Global, for all injured Wirecard investors in Europe," said Marc
Tuengler, managing director of DSW, a German investor group
which has teamed up with Better Finance to set up the
"The choice of a Dutch foundation offers options that are
not available under German law," Tuengler said in a statement,
adding that he envisioned a timeline of three to four years for
the legal process.
EY said it continues to regard claims against EY Germany,
including any claims by DSW, as unfounded.
"All first-instance court rulings by various chambers of the
Munich Regional Court 1 that have already been issued in this
context confirm EY's position: there are no claims against EY
for damages," EY said.
The Munich Higher Regional Court similarly has referenced
the high hurdles for sustaining claims against EY, it added.
Wirecard, founded in 1999, began by processing payments for
gambling and pornography websites before becoming a fintech star
and a member of Germany's blue chip DAX index.
It ended by filing for insolvency in June 2020, owing
creditors almost $4 billion, after disclosing a 1.9 billion hole
in its accounts that EY said was the result of a sophisticated
Klaus Nieding, of Nieding+Barth law firm, said if EY in
Germany or globally is unwilling to settle amicably, then the
investors will go to court, with litigation costs covered by the
($1 = 0.9173 euros)
(Additional reporting by Frank Siebelt in Frankfurt, Editing by
Kirsten Donovan and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)