- UK's FCA announced earlier today that Wirecard UK can continue operating as usual.
- The financial watchdog did not lift all restrictions, but the firm can serve customers once more.
- The restrictions were imposed after a report that the main firm's accounts are missing €1.9 billion.
The UK’s financial watchdog, the FCA, recently imposed restrictions on the UK branch of Germany-based payment firm, Wirecard. The restrictions were originally put in place on June 26th, after a report noted that the company’s accounts are missing as much as €1.9 billion.
Now, only a few days later, the FCA decided to lift some of the restrictions — enough to allow the company to keep operating and serving its customers.
FCA lifts restrictions
The FCA released its statement this Monday, June 29th. It stated that it has collaborated closely with Wirecard’s office in the UK, as well as other authorities. The goal of the collaboration was to ensure that the company would meet certain requirements that are necessary in order for it to continue operating.
After several days of working together, the FCA announced that “We are now in a position to allow Wirecard to resume operational activity.“
The company was given permission by the FCA to provide payment services, issue e-money, and distribute it onto payment cards. The restrictions were lifted just earlier today, at 00:01 on June 30th.
Of course, not all restrictions were lifted, and some will have to remain in place until further notice. One example includes the restrictions regarding where Wirecard UK can hold customers’ money, or the company’s ability to transfer its own funds.
Not lifting restrictions could have had grave consequences
The FCA’s decision was likely also forced by a warning issued by the payments lobby group, the Emerging Payments Association. The group represents more than 130 companies, and it said that the lack of payments could lead to corporate failures and job losses.
According to the group, Wirecard had to resume normal activities as soon as possible.
The easing of restrictions was also greeted by consumers, who ended up locked out of their accounts since Friday. While the FCA did claim that the restrictions were meant to protect customer cash, the fact that customers couldn’t get to their own money put many in a difficult situation.
The FCA’s consent for Wirecard to continue operating is evidence that the UK watchdog recognized these troubles, and that it did what it could to ease such issues.