ESG Controversy Case Study:

Wirecard: A story of accounting malpractice

September 9, 2022

Wirecard AG is a payment processing company that filed for insolvency in June 2020 after revelations of accounting manipulation amounting to €1.9 billion. The RavenPack Controversy Scoring Framework helps identify news mentions about ongoing controversies, augmenting your investment analysis.

hero image

In 2019, the Financial Times released the results of an investigation into the accounts of Wirecard AG, leading to suspicions of accounting malpractices against the company. Wirecard filed for insolvency on June 25th, 2020, after revelations of accounting fraud amounting to €1.9 billion. The RavenPack ESG Scoring Framework detected these events as follows:

Fraud and sanctions Management and board Legal issues ESG Controversy Scores Jan 2019 Jan 2020 Jan 2021 2 0 4 6 Jan 2022 January 30th, 2019 The FT publishes a report alleging that Wirecard executives had forged and backdated contracts linked to suspicious transactions. February 19th, 2019 BaFin orders an inquiry into Wirecard’s accounting and bans short-selling of the company’s stock. October 21st, 2019 Wirecard hires KPMG to conduct an independent audit. April 28th, 2020 the KPMG investigation finds that Wirecard did not provide sufficient documentation to address all allegations of accounting fraud. June 18th, 2020 Auditor EY refuses to sign off on the 2019 accounts, unable to confirm the existence of €1.9 billion in cash balances. June 19th, 2020 CEO Markus Braun resigns. June 22nd, 2020 Wirecard confirms that the missing cash balances likely never existed. June 23rd, 2020 The former CEO Braun is arrested on suspicion of fraud and released on bail.

It's often difficult to follow all the news to build a complete ESG picture, particularly when events are less reported. Benefits from local and global newswire coverage, RavenPack’s ESG Controversy Scoring Framework gives investors the opportunity to identify companies involved in controversial events reported in local news outlets before the information reaches the mainstream media.

Check out other ESG controversy case studies that have been widely reported, to understand how the RavenPack’s ESG Controversy Scoring Framework works, or request a trial to explore how it could help you stay on top of ESG controversies impacting your brands or portfolios.

We will process your personal data with the purpose of managing your personal account on RavenPack and offering our services. You can exercise your rights of access, rectification, erasure, restriction of processing, data portability and objection by emailing us at For more information, you can check out our Privacy Policy.


Read More

RavenPack’s ESG Controversy Scoring Framework is based on real-time detections of events across 40,000+ news sources in 13 different languages. It follows an event-based approach that can help assess the extent of a firm’s ESG controversy exposure through time by monitoring real-time news coverage.

August 10, 2022

ESG Investing: The Price of Controversy

Sustainability factors can severely impact the financial performance of companies, and investors should account for ESG risks in their portfolio construction process. We analyze the relationship between ESG controversy events detected in RavenPack Edge, and share prices of listed equities.

July 15, 2022

ESG Controversy Case Study: Boeing:The 737-MAX MCAS scandal

Two Boeing 737-MAX aircraft crashed in 2018 and 2019. Investigations revealed that the fatalities were caused by the Boeing-developed MCAS and a lack of pilot training.

July 5, 2022

ESG Controversy Case Study: Volkswagen

The September 2015 dieselgate scandal has cost Volkswagen AG more than $34 billion in fines and settlements. The various dimensions of this scandal were captured by our news-based ESG Controversy Scoring Framework.

June 22, 2022

ESG Controversy Case Study: BP the Gulf of Mexico Oil spill

Our news-based ESG Controversy Scoring Framework captured the different dimensions of the 2010 environmental scandal for BP, as well as other subsequent events, like an industrial fire at a BP refinery in 2012.

May 23, 2022

ESG Controversy Case Study: Activision Blizzard

Last summer, Activision Blizzard was accused of covering up allegations of workplace abuse, harassment, and discrimination, which led to employee walkouts and protests. Our ESG Controversy Scoring Framework detected it.

April 5, 2022

ESG Controversy Detection
March 2022

Tracking the ESG events surrounding companies, products or individuals associated to your brand, portfolio or supply chain can help you manage corporate and investment risk.