Legal aftermath

Legal aftermath

Created on March 02, 2023 | 15:32

Reading time: 3 mins

eis09wp-stock commerzialbank

The legal consequences of the Causa Commerzialbank will probably keep the courts busy for a long time.

Photo: BVZ, Millendorfer

Nfter the official closure of Commerzialbank Mattersburg on July 14, 2020, the cause is entering the next round. A Linz law firm is filing a lawsuit against the auditing firm. ÖVP state manager Patrik Fazekas sees the state as responsible.

In the Commerzialbank Mattersburg case on Thursday, the Linz business lawyer Gerald Waitz announced a lawsuit against the former auditing firm, which had issued an unqualified audit opinion to the bank, which was officially closed on July 14, 2020, in 2018. With a model lawsuit, the law firm Waitz Rechtsanwälte wants to obtain compensation for those customers who only came to Commerzialbank after 2018.

The background to the lawsuit is a report by the Auditor Oversight Authority (APAB) and criminal proceedings by the Office of the Public Prosecutor for Economic Affairs and Corruption (WKStA) against auditors and their law firm. According to Waitz, the APAB report states that two auditors who had been blacklisted by the Financial Market Authority (FMA) still held senior positions in the audit of Commerzialbank. In addition, the unqualified audit opinion was issued for the last published balance sheet from 2018 before the audit was completed.

Waitz also points out that the auditors may not have looked at how the bank identified its customers. According to the report, the Commerzialbank also paid “commissions that were not economically comprehensible to its parent cooperative, which, to make matters worse, was also checked by the same law firm,” said Waitz. In the opinion of the lawyer, the bank should have been closed earlier if the examination had been carried out properly. He is confident of being able to obtain compensation for customers.

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ÖVP: “Certified auditors were commissioned by the state”

eis09wp-stock Patrik Fazekas

ÖVP state manager Patrik Fazekas sees the state as responsible

Photo: Country of Burgenland

In the light of the latest advertisements, the ÖVP primarily criticizes the state and the SPÖ: “The political dimension of the scandal has still not been fully worked out. It must not be swept under the table that the state of Burgenland appointed the auditing office. Of course, an auditor close to the SPÖ was used,” said ÖVP state manager Patrik Fazekas on the allegations by the Linz law firm. Fazekas also refers to the U-Committee in the Causa Commerzialbank: “The U-Committee has shown one thing: without the SPÖ, Commerzialbank would never have existed.”

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