13 Facts About BaFin


BaFin was formed on 1 May 2002 with the passing of the Financial Services and integration Act on 22 April 2002.

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BaFin was created by the merger of the three supervisory agencies, the Federal Banking Supervisory Office, the Federal Supervisory Office for the Securities Trading, and the Federal Insurance Supervisory Office .

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On 19 September 2008, in response to threats from the global financial crisis and following measures taking by the United States, BaFin banned short selling on eleven German finance stocks.

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On 19 May 2010, in response to 2010 European sovereign debt crisis, BaFin banned naked short selling of credit default swaps on euro-area government bonds until 31 March 2011.

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In 2019, BaFin banned short-selling in response to accusations of accounting fraud in Wirecard.

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United States Wirecard

BaFin is run by a Board consisting of the president and four executive directors for securities, banking supervision, insurance supervision and cross-functional areas and internal administration.

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Main task of BaFin is the supervision of banks, insurance companies, and the trading of securities and ensure the viability, integrity, and stability of the German financial system.

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BaFin is required to ensure the functioning of the German markets for securities and derivatives in accordance with the Securities Trading Act .

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BaFin is in effect a law enforcement agency and can initiate legal action.

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BaFin has the power to remove the top leaders of a bank, suspend shareholders' voting rights or appoint an outside supervisor to oversee management.

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In 2016, BaFin opened a new office dedicated to corporate whistleblowers, aiming to encourage more business insiders to expose wrongdoing.

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The Federal Ministry of Finance later disclosed that one fifth of BaFin staff had engaged in some kind of investment activity in 2019 and 2020, with an increasing interest in Wirecard in the months ahead of its collapse.

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Only in September 2020, BaFin banned its staff from trading shares and other securities of the companies that it oversees.

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