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Wirecard required to keep customer funds from Singapore business activities in banks here: MAS

THE Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in a statement on Tuesday that it has required scandal-hit payments provider Wirecard to ensure that it keeps customer funds arising from its business activities here in banks in Singapore.

Wirecard's primary business activities in Singapore are to process payments for merchants and help companies issue pre-paid cards. 

Its entities here are currently not licensed by MAS, but Singapore's financial regulator said that it has received a licence application from Wirecard under the new Payment Services Act.

The Payment Services Act provides for a grace period for entities conducting regulated activities to apply for the relevant licence, said MAS. It added that MAS may issue requirements to such entities during this grace period.

On Monday, German company Wirecard withdrew its preliminary financial results for 2019 and the first quarter of this year, admitting that the amount of €1.9 billion (S$2.97 billion) auditors said was missing from its accounts likely "does not exist".

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The episode was sparked off by auditor EY refusing to sign off on Wirecard's 2019 accounts last Thursday due to the unaccounted cash. This was swiftly followed by the resignation of the company's founder and chief executive on Friday after the startup was hit with fraud allegations.

Wirecard is now considering a full-scale restructuring in a bid for survival.

German public prosecutors said that they were probing all possible criminal offences in connection with the beleaguered startup.

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