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Greensill Bank: Bafin has to take severe criticism


After the Wirecard balance sheet scandal, Bafin has also come under the crossfire of criticism in the case of Bremer Greensill Bank. Financial politicians from almost all parties criticize the late intervention of the financial supervisory authority.

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Greensill Bank logo


Financial politicians from the Union, Greens, Left and FDP have criticized the actions of the Bafin at Greensill Bank.

"Apparently the Bafin followed up on clues again very late," said Danyal Bayaz of the Greens.

"If it turns out that the Bafin also ignored warnings in the Greensill case, then that would be further evidence of the cultural problem that the authority has," added FDP politician Florian Toncar.

The Bafin closed the Bremen-based bank on Wednesday due to the threat of over-indebtedness and reported the management to the public prosecutor's office.

The institute had inflated its total assets to 4.5 billion euros within a few years.

The private banking association BdB, whose deposit protection fund for threatened savings deposits is currently at Greensill, announced that it had drawn the financial supervisory authority's attention to inconsistencies in the institute's balance sheets a year ago.

"It was the auditing association that pointed out the problems of Greensill Bank to the Bafin at the beginning of 2020," said a BdB spokesman.

The auditing association sets the rules for the BdB member banks.

"The management of the Greensill Bank obviously did not obey these rules." The Bafin was initially unable to respond to the statements of the BdB and the criticism of the politicians.

FDP politician Toncar said that Bafin’s claim must be to uncover grievances on their own initiative.

"But if it doesn't even work that useful information from other supervisors is followed up, then the agency has a fundamental problem."

In the case of the collapsed Wirecard Group, BaFin is also accused of not having noticed suspected balance sheet fraud for years.

Bafin President Felix Hufeld therefore lost his job.

The Bafin had the Greensill Bank subjected to a closer examination last summer.

The agency recently sent a special envoy to Bremen to oversee the day-to-day operations of Greensill Bank.

Too late, complains left-wing finance politician Fabio De Masi.

CSU finance politician Hans Michelbach said that the damage that has now occurred could have been avoided.

"For about a year now, there have been reports of serious grievances at Greensill without the Bafin having intervened."

At Greensill Bank, there is suspicion of balance sheet manipulation.

Neither Bafin nor the public prosecutor's office want to comment on the content of the Bafin’s criminal complaint.

In a press release, however, the Bafin pointed out that a special audit had found that Greensill Bank was unable to provide evidence of the existence of recognized claims.

Greensill Bank said it had always cooperated with regulators and auditors and was transparent about the classification of assets.

The institute, which emerged from the former Nordfinanz in 2014, collected funds from private investors via online portals such as “Weltsparen” and “Zinspilot” in order to secure the fund business of the British-Australian parent company Greensill Capital.

As of the end of 2019 - there is no more recent data - liabilities to customers amounted to 3.3 billion euros.

According to the Scope rating agency, around one billion euros of this comes from private investors.

SPD politician Cansel Kiziltepe took the Bafin, which is subordinate to the SPD-led Ministry of Finance, under protection.

"BaFin has been active at Greensill for a long time and has taken ever stricter measures," she said.

"So far, it has not been apparent that BaFin reacted too late."

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ssu / Reuters

Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2021-03-04

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News/Politics 2021-03-08T18:40:31.353Z

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