Deutsche Bank chief accountant temporarily steps aside amid Wirecard probe

Deutsche Bank

(Reuters) – Deutsche Bank’s chief accounting officer, Andreas Loetscher, has temporarily stepped aside amid a probe into his role as a previous lead auditor of the payments company Wirecard, according to an internal memo.

Loetscher, who has been with Deutsche since 2018, was previously with EY and among the top auditors of Wirecard, which collapsed in an accounting fraud.

German prosecutors last week opened an investigation into partners at EY who audited Wirecard after an accounting watchdog filed a report accusing them of criminality in their work for the failed company.

“This step is neither an acknowledgement of wrongdoing by Andreas nor a change of perception on the part of the bank,” Deutsche Bank’s finance chief James von Moltke wrote in a memo to staff seen by Reuters.

The memo said that the move was at Loetscher’s “request and in mutual agreement”.

The Financial Times first reported the development.

Reporting by Patricia Uhlig; Writing by Tom Sims; Editing by Michelle Adair