Andrea Shalal and David Lawder
WASHINGTON (Reuters), – On Sunday, the International Monetary Fund’s Executive Board will gather again with Kristalina Georgieva as Managing Director and with representatives of the law company that claimed she made pressure on World Bank staff members to alter data in China to help China during her tenure as CEO.
One source said that a decision about Georgieva’s fate at the global lender will not be made until Monday at the latest. This is because finance ministers from many of IMF’s 190 members are gathering in Washington, DC for the annual IMF/World Bank fall meetings.
The IMF’s executive board debated the matter for five hours https://www.reuters.com/business/imf-board-debate-georgievas-future-with-some-backing-europe-sources-2021-10-08 on Friday before adjourning and asking for more “clarifying details”.
This scandal could overshadow high-profile meetings where officials are expected to talk about the global economy and the COVID-19 pandemic. They also plan to address global taxation in talks that will take place partly online.
Normal years the event attracts about 10,000 people to Washington.
Georgieva has strongly denied https://www.skdknick.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/2021.10.06-Statement-of-Kristalina-Georgieva-to-IMF-Executive-Board.pdf the allegations, which date back to 2017, when she was the chief executive of the World Bank. Her lawyer claims https://www.reuters.com/business/imf-chief-georgievas-lawyer-claims-data-probe-violated-world-bank-staff-rules-2021-10-07 that the investigation conducted by law firm WilmerHale violated World Bank staff rules in part by denying her an opportunity to respond to the accusations, an assertion WilmerHale disputes.
Sources said that Georgieva as well as WilmerHale’s attorneys would appear at the board meeting on Sunday. They spoke anonymously. Georgieva nor the firm had no immediate comment.
France and other European nations supported the Bulgarian economist Friday to continue as IMF chief. However, other officials requested more time to examine her accounts along with those of the law company regarding data irregularities found in the World Bank’s “Doing Business” report.
Gordon Brown, the former British Prime Minister tweeted his support Friday. Georgieva was called “an outstanding international public service… who served with distinction as both a Commissioner and Vice-President of the @EU_Commission. The @WorldBank then became the Managing Director and is now the head of @IMFNews.”
Following Friday’s meeting the U.S Treasury, which holds 16.5% of IMF shares, did not comment.
Alexandra LaManna, spokesperson for Treasury said this week that the department had “pressed for a thorough & fair accounting of all facts” during the review. This underscores its concern about “the integrity international financial institutions”.
WilmerHale’s investigation report prepared for the World Bank board https://thedocs.worldbank.org/en/doc/84a922cc9273b7b120d49ad3b9e9d3f9-0090012021/original/DB-Investigation-Findings-and-Report-to-the-Board-of-Executive-Directors-September-15-2021.pdf alleged that when Georgieva was World Bank CEO in 2017, she applied “undue pressure” on bank staff to make data changes to the “Doing Business” report to boost China’s business-climate ranking as the bank sought Beijing’s support for a major capital increase.
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