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Wirecard chairman resigns months after accounting controversy

Wulf Matthias resigned as Wirecard AG's chairman, just months after the German payment processing company said it would conduct an independent review of its accounting practices.

Matthias will be replaced by Thomas Eichelmann in the role, but will remain a member of the company's board until the end of his term of office in 2021. Eichelmann joined Wirecard's board in mid-2019, and is the head of its audit committee.

The development follows a series of reports published by the London's Financial Times focusing on claims that Wirecard has had accounting lapses, which triggered several sharp drops in the company's shares.

Wirecard commissioned an independent audit of its records in response to the reports by the FT, tapping KPMG to begin the review by giving the accounting firm unrestricted access to all group-level data.

Matthias had previously refuted calls for an independent review despite Wirecard's share price taking a hit after the FT published documents that appeared to show a concerted effort to inflate sales and profit figures, which Wirecard categorically denied.

Wirecard will present the results of the audit in due course.