When questions are asked, Wirecard’s story changes. The amount and location of their supposed MCA lending has changed regularly since it was first announced late last year. We have published a series of questions to be asked at their innovation day, that remain unanswered. The release of data from the FT raises yet more questions. We release our correspondence with the supervisory board:

What they’ve said

  • In November 2018 Wirecard claimed it had launched a new Merchant Cash Advance (MCA) Product.
  • In both May and June 2019, Wirecard told analysts that at least 33% (€133M) was in Turkey and Brazil. Earlier statements in March, and May, have repeatedly said that the bulk of the programme is in Brazil, with some also in Asia and Europe.
  • In August 2019, Wirecard mis-remembered their earlier statements, and told analysts that they had previously stated MCA was less than 33% in Brazil and Turkey. Overall lending shrank to €370M.

Numbers don’t lie

  • MCA lending is easily seen on the balance sheet.
  • We have seen Wirecard’s own accounts for both Brazil and Turkey. In both countries, MCA lending would appear negligible or non-existent. And in Turkey, it’s illegal, suggesting if there is any MCA lending, this is a separate problem in itself.
  • More details for both Brazil and Turkey are available. But at its simplest, any firm with a meaningful MCA programme would see this reflected on the balance sheet as significantly more receivables than payables at any given moment. Neither Brazil nor Turkey have anything like this.

Our previous work

Wirecard first announced the MCA product in November 2018, and at the time the size and growth of MCA in Brazil didn’t make sense to us given our understanding of the size of Wirecard Brazil. Our initial work, done without access to the full accounts, established that the MCA product in Brazil could only be a fraction of the size Wirecard claimed. In response, Wirecard told analysts that MCA is in Brazil and Turkey, and we subsequently uncovered the fact that MCA is actually illegal in Turkey. If you'd like to review this initial work, key highlights can be found below.

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