German payments giant Wirecard has hired KPMG to conduct an independent audit, in a bid to address claims its finance team had tried to inflate its reported sales and profits.
The announcement was enough to push shares up 6.7 per cent this morning. It comes days after chairman Wulf Matthias dismissed calls for such an audit.
The 74-year-old former Credit Suisse banker had previously said reports of potential accounting problems were “an annoyance”.
He told the Financial Times: “We have endless stories [about Wirecard], three a day. I have not looked at them in further detail. We have other things to do.”
On Tuesday last week, the Financial Times published documents that appeared to indicate a concerted effort to fraudulently inflate sales and profits. The firm has denied the claims.
But this morning, it appeared to bow to pressure for an independent review of work done by its auditor EY.
Matthias said: “We have complete confidence in the audit procedures performed to date and their results.
“We assume this renewed independent review will lead to a final end to all further speculation.”
It comes after Wirecard reported a jump in profits in its half-year results in August, telling investors it expected to do better in 2019 than originally thought.
But since the allegations last week, shares have plummeted, and closed 21 per cent down for the week on Friday.