SoftBank Faces Blow to Reputation over Wirecard Investment

Several SoftBank executives held calls last month to discuss potential legal risks with their large investment into Wirecard so soon before the payments company collapsed; SoftBank has said it took allegations of accounting irregularities at Wirecard seriously but had no reason to believe they were true at the time of the bond investment, a spokesman told the Wall Street Journal; SoftBank has made their name on taking big bets, some that have not paid off like WeWork; SoftBank set certain conditions before the deal went though, including addressing the accounting irregularities in deal documents; SoftBank also agreed to introduce Wirecard to dozens of tech startups that were in their portfolio; before the convertible bonds were issued they were repackaged into new securities and sold to hedge funds, private banks and mutual funds; more stories came out a few months later and SoftBank called for an outside audit of the company; SoftBank might not face legal trouble for their investment but the firm will take another hit to a reputation that is becoming increasingly dinged up. Wall Street Journal.

  • Todd Anderson

    Todd is the host of PitchIt: the fintech startups podcast, a weekly interview show featuring emerging fintech founders and leading venture capitalists. He is responsible for leading the content team which covers fintech through daily & weekly email newsletters, editorial, virtual events, and in-person conferences. He has been covering fintech, banking, and venture capital for more than 15 years, including speaking regularly at industry events.

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