Informed sources told Reuters that the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund will issue a statement in support of Director-General Kristalina Georgieva after a comprehensive review of allegations that she pressured World Bank employees to change data in favor of China.
The 24-member board reached the decision on Monday after lengthy meetings over the past week, as members debated the future of Georgieva, a Bulgarian economist and the first head of the fund from a developing country.
France and other European governments said last week that they wanted Georgieva to complete her term, while US and Japanese officials pressed for a comprehensive review of the allegations, according to other informed sources.
The case was raised against the backdrop of a report containing allegations prepared by the legal services firm Wilmer Hill for the World Bank Board about data irregularities in the bank’s now-defunct Doing Business report.
The company’s report alleged that Georgieva and other senior officials put “undue pressure” on bank employees to make changes to raise China’s ranking in the report, at a time when the bank was seeking Beijing’s support for a significant capital increase.
Georgieva has vehemently denied the allegations dating back to 2017, when she was chief executive of the World Bank. She became Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund in October 2019.
France and other European governments have been pressing for a quick settlement of the issue ahead of the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank this week, with Georgieva and World Bank President David Malpass leading discussions on the global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, debt relief and efforts to accelerate vaccination activity.
The United States and Japan, the fund’s largest contributors, have warned against reasserting confidence in the fund manager well in advance, one of the sources said.
Article Reuters: IMF board will back Georgieva after reviewing allegations of data fraud written in Al Borsa newspaper.