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Wirecard scandal gives job seekers another hit

Published: Monday 29th June 2020

When it looked like things couldn’t get tougher for job seekers, the freezing of Wirecard’s UK activities has locked thousands out of their own bank accounts, possibly affecting you or your employees. Wirecard, the German fintech giant, admitted that €1.9 billion (£1.7 billion) was missing from their balance sheet last week leading to the company’s collapse.

Wirecard’s CEO, Markus Braun, resigned and was arrested, auditors Ernst Young said the company attempted to conceal “intricate” fraud over the past three years and the company’s share price fell by 85% in the space of a week. The heap of bad news forced them into insolvency which had a massive effect on dozens of UK prepaid banking companies.

On Friday, June 26, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) froze all of Wirecard’s UK activities meaning firms like Pockit, U Account, Card One, have told customers they cannot access their own money.

Wirecard logo on mobile screen, hand holding mobile phone on white and red background.

How has the Wirecard scandal affected the UK workforce?

Wirecard supplied prepaid banking solutions to UK brands like Pockit, Card One and U Account. These accounts are easy to set up and were favoured by numerous temporary labour or migrant workers who usually don’t qualify for a high street bank account.

On Friday, June 26, the FCA froze Wirecard’s UK licence “in order to further protect customer money”. In turn, all of activities were also suspended. Their customers cannot use their online bank accounts or MasterCard cards. They have been told they cannot use their cards in stores or at ATMs, transfer money into their accounts or make any payments.

Today each company individually announced that they still don’t know when normal services will resume. The services offered by Pockit, Card One and U Account catered to the UK’s unbanked and underbanked, the people who could not access regular bank accounts and credit. Because of the timing of the FCA’s measures, customers cannot access their most recent transactions including wages.

What can customers do now?

The FCA froze the Wirecard UK’s banking activities as a safety measure to keep customer’s money away from creditors as the German parent company becomes insolvent. The each of Wirecard’s customers have said that their customers money is safe but totally inaccessible. If your employees have been affected the FCA’s advice is to contact the card provider for further advice and support as your money remains locked away.

Due to the high volume of traffic to their customer support channels, they might struggle to get a reply. The companies have admitted they do not know when the accounts will be reopened. Any payments made to the accounts will bounce back to the sender. If you made a payment to a Wirecard account before the FCA measures on Friday your employees will be blocked from accessing them.

If your employees receive DWP payments, the companies have advised that they contact the DWP. They have a new team in place to help Wirecard customer. Direct debit payments will not leave your worker’s account as scheduled so you should notify whoever you are paying and discuss alternatives.

Suits Me has not been affected

suits me mobile banking, visa and mobile phone screen showing customer banking account.

If you urgently require a reliable new bank account whilst your provider’s services are put on hold you can open a Suits Me account straight away.

Suits Me and Wirecard are not affiliated meaning our services have been totally unaffected. Anyone can set up a Suits Me account applications take no more than 10 minutes, do not require any credit or National Insurance checks, and are open to anyone.

If you or your employees have been caught out by the Wirecard scandal gets their first month’s fee automatically refunded.

Open a new Suits Me account today and move funds into your account as soon as it’s activated and you’ll receive a new Visa debit card in the post within 3-5 working days.

Author Bio: Peter East is a professional content writer for Suits Me. He has training in BA Journalism and has an interest in political and data journalism. When not on the lookout for new stories he’s been developing a new podcast.

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