Felix Hufeld, the head of German's financial regulatory body BaFin, has been relieved of his job after a chronic mishandling of the Wirecard scandal.
The German financial watchdog has been under fire for its persistent defence of Wirecard as it faced mounting allegations of financial accounting irregularites.
The true scale of the problems at the German payments processor only came to light after the company entered insolvency following the discovery of a $1.9 billion black hole in its accounts.
In the months leading up to Wirecard's collapse, BaFin turned its ire on short sellers and journalists who had questioned the company's financial statements.
Hufeld's departure comes a day after the the watchdog filed a criminal complaint to the public prosecutor’s office in Stuttgart against an employee on suspicion of insider trading. The employee, working in BaFin’s Securities Supervision Sector, had sold structured products with Wirecard AG shares as the underlying on 17 June 2020.
BaFin will begin an immediate search for Hufeld's successor, who will be expected to push through reforms demanded by the European Securities and Markets Authority following an investigation into the scandal.