Bafin: Staff Council defends itself against trade bans for employees

The staff council of Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bafin) defends itself against the after Wirecard-Scandal imposed far-reaching restrictions on employees when trading securities. The prohibition of private trading in stocks, bonds and other financial instruments caused "great frustration and uncertainty" among the workforce, wrote Andreas Wolter, head of the staff council, in a letter to Finance Secretary Jörg Kukies, according to a report in the "Handelsblatt". He calls for financial compensation for the disadvantages that the employees suffered when building up their assets.

After the bankruptcy of the Bavarian payment service provider, after Air bookings over almost two billion euros became known, it was revealed that employees of the financial supervisory authority had speculated with Wirecard derivatives shortly before. The authority then tightened its regulations for employees. In the meantime, even according to the law, they are not allowed to trade in financial instruments that are admitted to a German stock exchange or from companies that are supervised by Bafin. The Bafin can, however, allow exceptions if no conflict of interest is to be feared.

Wolter fears that the agency will scare off potential employees and piss off others. The current regulations are "unsatisfactory and constitutionally questionable," wrote the staff council. The Federal Ministry of Finance defended the course against the newspaper. It contributes to the trust in the authority, "if the appearance is avoided that employees can use information obtained in the service to carry out private financial transactions or that their business activities could be guided by private interests."