Lithuania faces pressure to ‘tighten FinTech rules’ after Wirecard scandal

EU lawmakers have urged Lithuania to tighten its financial oversight after it was revealed that a Vilnius-based FinTech was involved in the Wirecard scandal, according to The Financial Times (FT.)

UAB Finolita Unio is suspected to have stolen over €100 million from Wirecard weeks before the company collapsed.

Some of the money is believed to have been channelled to Wirecard’s ex-chief operating officer Jan Marsalek, who is currently on Interpol’s most-wanted list after fleeing before the company filed for insolvency.

Stasys Jakeliunas, MEP for the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union, told the newspaper that he hoped the case would be a “wake-up call” for Lithuanian authorities.

“It’s what to be expected,” he said to the FT. “FinTech needs agile supervision and regulation, and that is missing both at the central bank and not least the financial crime investigation service. They are not keeping up with these fast-moving, innovative businesses.”

Documents seen by the publication show that the Lithuanian FinTech appears to have processed some of the money that was siphoned off prior to the company’s collapse.

People familiar with the investigation told the FT that German prosecutors are currently looking into the matter and have been in touch with Lithuanian authorities.

They suspect that part of a €100m loan granted by Wirecard in March 2020 to a subsidiary of the FinTech’s owner, and processed by the Lithuanian company, was secretly passed on to Marsalek.

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