FT rejects Wirecard allegations, will allow for independent review
The Financial Times issues the following statement on Tuesday:
This year, the FT has written extensively about Wirecard, a German fintech company listed on the Dax 30. This has included coverage of an investigation by the Singaporean white-collar crime authorities into the German company’s accounting practices which followed an earlier FT report into suspected fraud at the firm.
Wirecard has been of interest to the FT investigations team for four years. The FT team is headed by Paul Murphy, who has more than 30 years of experience in business and financial journalism. Since he took up his current role, the investigations team has won several awards for its reporting.
Subsequent to the recent coverage, Wirecard has alleged that FT investigative reporters have engaged in collusion with short-sellers targeting the company. These allegations have been reported extensively in the German media. The FT has separately been made aware of them by Wirecard’s legal representatives. Bafin, the German financial regulator, has launched a separate inquiry.
The FT rejects these allegations, which it considers a diversionary tactic aimed at stifling further reporting on Wirecard. However, the publication has invited an external, independent review of its reporting on Wirecard by RPC, the London-based law firm, to be completed in coming weeks. Lionel Barber, editor of the FT, said: “Given the seriousness of the allegations, I have decided to invite an external review into our reporting of this highly controversial story. As a trusted news source, the FT’s reputation rests on its gold standard journalism, its integrity and a scrupulous approach to accuracy.”
The FT’s editorial complaints procedure is available to Wirecard, as it is to any subject of an FT story that deems the journalism unfair. To date, Wirecard has declined to use any of the normal channels to challenge the FT’s reporting.