Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Exclusive-World Bank denies IMF chief Georgieva's bid for meeting to defend herself -sources

Economy Oct 26, 2021 02:02PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva makes remarks during a closing news conference for the International Monetary Finance Committee (IMFC), during the IMF and World Bank's 2019 Annual Meetings of finance mi

By Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The World Bank's board has turned down a request by IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva for a meeting to defend herself against claims that she pressured staff to alter data as the bank's CEO in 2017, according to two sources briefed on the situation.

An attorney hired by Georgieva asked for the meeting in a 17-page letter on Friday to the dean of the bank's board.

The attorney, Whitney Debevoise of Arnold & Porter, wrote that an investigation report prepared by the WilmerHale law firm for the board was improperly conducted, violated Georgieva's due process rights, and based its fundamental conclusion on a false assumption, according to a copy of the letter viewed by Reuters.

WilmerHale concluded in September that officials including Georgieva applied "undue pressure" https://www.reuters.com/business/sustainable-business/world-bank-kills-business-climate-report-after-ethics-probe-cites-undue-pressure-2021-09-16 on bank staff to alter data to favor China in the bank's Doing Business 2018 rankings.

Georgieva has denied the allegations and the board of the International Monetary Fund, which Georgieva has headed since October 2019, this month found no conclusive evidence https://www.reuters.com/business/imf-board-resume-debate-over-georgievas-future-later-monday-2021-10-11 to support accusations of wrongdoing.

The World Bank board told Debevoise it would be inappropriate to meet or hear from Georgieva since it has no role in a separate probe being conducted by WilmerHale about potential wrongdoing by current and former bank staff, including Georgieva, according to a person briefed on the conversation.

That report, expected in about two months, will go to the bank's human resources department, not the board.

The dean of the board Merza Hasan, the chair of the board's ethics committee and the head of a separate panel on governance all rejected the request, sources close to the board said.

In a joint response described to Reuters, the three officials told the board they would not be sharing Debevoise's letter or earlier statements by Georgieva, saying the bank's rules are intended to prevent "any interference from the board or any other party" in staff investigations, the sources said.

The three officials communicated separately with Debevoise's law firm.

A World Bank spokesperson declined to comment on the latest developments, saying the bank did not comment on investigations.

WilmerHale did not respond to requests for comment on the Debevoise letter. Earlier this month, the firm said its report followed all applicable World Bank rules, and Georgieva had been told the World Bank could disclose any information she provided.

IMF, WORLD BANK RIFT

Debevoise is a former member of the World Bank's board. His retention, together with Georgieva's demand the World Bank board hear her story, could feed a widening rift between the IMF chief and World Bank officials.

The two development banks together fund tens of billions of dollars in climate, health and anti-poverty programs in poor countries.

World Bank President David Malpass and Georgieva have played a leading role in shaping the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Both are due to attend meetings this week of the Group of 20 global economies and a United Nations climate conference.

The World Bank board had been scheduled to meet informally on Monday, but canceled the gathering after Georgieva's public relations firm sent Debevoise's letter and other materials to board members. The board will reconvene when all stages of the staff investigation are complete, the sources said.

Georgieva could face sanctions if the second phase of the investigation finds wrongdoing on her part, including a ban on entry to World Bank facilities. She would not lose the pension she collects from the bank, according to bank rules.

The U.S. government, the largest shareholder in both institutions, this month said there was insufficient evidence to remove Georgieva from the IMF helm, but Treasury officials stressed they were keeping close tabs on the ongoing World Bank review.

Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have raised concerns about Georgieva's IMF leadership.

On Tuesday, Democratic Senator Robert Menendez told a hearing of the Senate Finance Committee: "She's lost my confidence and I want to see how she actually can operate under these circumstances."

Exclusive-World Bank denies IMF chief Georgieva's bid for meeting to defend herself -sources
 

Related Articles

Echoes of dire 1970s in today's Britain
Echoes of dire 1970s in today's Britain By Reuters - Aug 17, 2022

By Andy Bruce LONDON (Reuters) - Plans for a high-wage, high-growth economy lie in ruins as Britain's Conservative prime minister struggles to answer a cost-of-living crisis,...

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email