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Wirecard, Patisserie Valerie and Open Banking

Birmingham based Fintech, Cirrostratus Exedra, claims its Open Banking Treasury Management Software is a defence for senior directors against fraud such as Wirecard or Patisserie Valerie.

Cirrostratus Exedra through its Vat Direct website gives senior directors the ability to see the balances on all of their bank accounts up to the minute whatever bank they bank with.  CEO John Hemming said, "To find out all the balances on all of the bank accounts without account consolidation means logging in onto all of the online banking services.   That takes a long time to do. However, our treasury management Open Banking service enables Directors to see all the current balances on all of the bank accounts on a single website page."

"With Patisserie Valerie and Wirecard some directors were misled as to how much cash the business actually had in bank accounts. Had Luke Johnson, the chairman of Patisserie Valerie been able to look at all of the balances on all of the bank accounts at a single click then it would have been possible to see that he was being misled.  Similarly with Wirecard there are balances that are just not there in the bank accounts.  An independent non-executive  would have been to see this on a daily basis with an account consolidation real time report.   It is not that difficult to put false accounting entries into a companies accounting system.  However, getting false entries into the companies bankers' systems is so difficult it prevents fraud."

"Our system uses open banking to bring all of the bank balances onto a single page.  Hence members of the board can easily monitor the cash position if needs be on an hourly basis.  As funds move between bank accounts and between banks this is tracked by the treasury management system and the overall balance is then clear as to how much cash is available."

Open Banking is a developing service which requires banks to offer compatible computer interfaces (APIs or applications programming interfaces).  The Competition and Markets Authority in the UK have ordered the top 9 banks in the UK to provide this. However, scores of other UK banks are also offering Open Banking interfaces.  Cirrostratus Exedra currently has links into over 50 UK banks and is developing more on a daily basis.

Cirrostratus Exedra runs the Vat Direct service which is a service for submitting VAT returns to HMRC, but also a service for using Open Banking for account consolidation and treasury management.

Wirecard and Patisserie Valerie were both listed companies where the companies suffered from internal fraud as to how much cash the company had in bank accounts.

Vat Direct - Open Banking and Tax Submissions

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