Thousands of people in the UK cannot access their money due to the fallout from the scandal hitting payment company Wirecard.
Wirecard Card Solutions’ UK license was frozen by the regulator after its German parent company filed for bankruptcy.
This means that people are temporarily unable to access money held with financial applications in the UK using Wirecard technology.
Some have spoken of their frustration, but their money should be safe.
Wirecard Card Solutions offers prepaid cards, such as the U Account, which has marketed itself as an alternative to a bank, which has helped people budget and avoid high overdraft fees.
“This is a major problem for many customers who rely on money placed in their U account for daily needs, including the ability to pay rent and buy food,” said one BBC client.
“Money is safe”
The regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), said it had ordered Newcastle-based Wirecard Card Solutions “to cease all regulated activities in order to further protect customers’ money.”
Pockit financial technology companies; Anna Money, a corporate account; and Curve, which aims to consolidate people’s finances in a single application, told customers that they would be frozen from their accounts after the FCA decision.
They said that customers’ money was still safe, but would not be available for a while.
“This action is unrelated to Curve – but Curve currently depends on Wirecard for the operation of the Curve card,” Curve told customers on Friday.
“We are already well on our way to migrate away from Wirecard, but we have not fully completed this process. ”
Anna said, “We expect the suspension to be lifted – the inability to use your account and card is temporary, and we are working to restore it as soon as possible. ”
Pockit said he was working with the FCA to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.
On its website, Wirecard Card Solutions said: “Wirecard Card Solutions Limited (WDCS) has temporarily suspended its electronic money issuance, card issuing and acquisition activities with immediate effect until further notice.
“WDCS is working hard to put in place the steps to lift the suspension so that business can resume as usual. We will provide further updates on our website as soon as possible. “
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The funds are not protected, as they are in banks, by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, but the company said customers’ money was kept securely in separate accounts.
FCA has asked those concerned to contact their card provider.
The action comes after German parent company Wirecard revealed a EUR 1.9 billion (£ 1.7 billion) hole in its accounts last week and then filed for insolvency.
Former boss Markus Braun was arrested and charged with inflating Wirecard’s finances to make them healthier for investors and customers.
The Munich-based company employs nearly 6,000 people in 26 countries. The company’s creditors risk losing billions of euros in the scandal.