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FCA orders Wirecard to suspend activity in UK

The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has ordered payments firm Wirecard to suspend operations in that market and warned it not to dispose of any assets or funds, following the companies' insolvency filing in Germany.

The FCA, which regulates e-money and other financial companies in the U.K., said it took these steps to protect consumers in the home market. Wirecard filed for insolvency after auditors determined that 1.9 million euros ($2.1 billion) could not be accounted for and the company last week fired CEO Markus Braun, who was later arrested by German authorities.

The FCA said it has been working closely with Wirecard UK and other regulatory agencies to make sure consumers are protected.

The European Commission has asked the European Securities and Markets Authority to investigate the collapse of Wirecard AG and the role of financial regulators in terms of how they responded to the collapse.

The BaFin, a German regulatory body, told Mobile Payments Today earlier this week that it began investigating potential market manipulation in January 2019 and reported findings of its probe to public prosecutors in Munich by April 2019.

Meanwhile, Prepaid Financial Services issued a statement supporting consumers and corporate clients of Wirecard.

"Our first thoughts are with the customers and clients of Wirecard," Lee Britton, CCO at PFS, in a company release. "Given our years of experience, reputation in the industry and sound financial footing, we stand at the ready to assist with a world class payment solution suite."

PFS was acquired by EML earlier this year.