German regulator BaFin is parting ways with its executive director Beatrice Freiwald after a months-long legal dispute. She is leaving the regulator “by virtue of a decision by the German government as a member of Bafin’s board of directors,” the authority announced on Tuesday evening.
Freiwald, whose contract as Executive Director actually ran until the beginning of 2024, had long been considered a shaky candidate at Bafin. She was harshly criticized by the Wirecard investigation committee, among other things, because she was responsible for Bafin’s whistleblower unit, which did not adequately follow up on information from whistleblowers about Wirecard.
Above all, however, she was blamed for the financial supervisory authority’s handling of private securities transactions by her employees. It is held responsible for the fact that compliance with the already quite permissive regulations was also checked comparatively laxly before Wirecard’s collapse. In the meantime, the regulations have been tightened considerably.
The Wirecard scandal had already cost former Bafin President Felix Hufeld and his deputy Elisabeth Roegele their jobs. Freiwald, on the other hand, tried to defend herself legally in advance against her planned dismissal, as a ruling by the Higher Administrative Court of Berlin-Brandenburg shows.