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British regulator brought in to sort out German watchdog

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Germany has tapped Mark Branson from Swiss financial regulator Finma to head its beleaguered financial watchdog Bafin, the finance ministry said on Monday.

Mr Branson, a British-born mathematician with Swiss and British citizenship, will take up the new post “in the middle of the year”, the ministry said.

He will succeed Felix Hufeld, who was sacked in January over Bafin’s failure to prevent the Wirecard fraud – Germany’s biggest accounting scandal in living memory.

Mr Branson will be charged with implementing reforms announced in February designed to enable the regulator to identify fraud more quickly and effectively, with a bigger focus on whistleblowers.

With Mr Branson “at the helm”, the regulator will continue with the reforms aimed at giving it “more teeth”, finance minister Olaf Scholz said.

Mr Branson, 52, has been head of the Swiss financial market regulator Finma since 2014, having joined in 2010.

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