Tuesday’s International Monetary Fund statement reflected its full confidence in its managing director in the wake of allegations that World Bank staff were forced to change China business rankings in order to appease Beijing.
In a statement, the IMF’s 24-member executive committee stated that it did not conclude that Kristalina Georgieva (managing director) played an inappropriate role in the situation.
It stated that it had reviewed all evidence and reaffirmed its confidence in the management director’s leadership abilities and ability to carry out her duties effectively.
It said that the investigation into misconduct by World Bank staff is ongoing and that the United States, which is the largest shareholder of the IMF, will continue to monitor the progress of the investigation.
In response to a report claiming Georgieva was involved in influencing staff to alter data that affected the rankings of China’s business climate, Georgieva denied any wrongdoing.
Janet Yellen, U.S. Treasury Secretary, spoke to Georgieva over the phone and stated that the report “raised legitimate questions and concerns”, the Treasury Department stated in a statement.
The Treasury however, agreed that there was no basis for IMF leadership change if “there isn’t any further direct evidence regarding the role of managing director.”
Yellen stated that it was vital to protect the integrity of the IMF/World Bank.
The “U.S. The Treasury statement stated that the “U.S. believes proactive measures must be taken in order to strengthen data integrity and credibility of the IMF, as well as that the institution’s leadership must renew its commitment to transparency and whistleblower protections around policies, research and analysis to provide accountability, public oversight, and oversight over key decisions.”
Late Friday, the IMF stated that it needed more “clarifying information” regarding its investigation. The board then met with Georgieva again on Sunday.
After a presentation by WilmerHale, Georgieva was present before the panel for over five hours. It claimed that she and other World Bank officials had forced staff to alter data.
The World Bank decided to end the Doing Business Report, which China and other countries used to attract foreign investment.
Critics argued that China, which is the second-largest economy in the world, had too much influence on international finance institutions.
Washington, DC – The annual meeting of the IMF and World Bank is being held this week. However, the Doing Business controversy was threatening overshadowing the agenda.
Georgieva, the second female head of IMF, took over from Christine Lagarde two years ago to lead the European Central Bank.