‘Quite simply false’: IMF’s Georgieva pushes back World Bank investigation | News from banks

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The report puts IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva at risk of having her authority undermined just weeks before an annual meeting of global CFOs.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva this week gave the lender’s board a more detailed defense against accusations she improperly swayed a pro-China report in her previous job at the World Bank.

In a three-page letter to the head of the board’s ethics committee dated September 21 and obtained by Bloomberg News, Georgieva – who at the time was the chief executive of the World Bank – said she was surprised by the WilmerHale law firm’s conclusion in a 15th audit report that it played a “key role” in China’s ranking changes in the Doing Business 2018 report.

“This is simply wrong,” Georgieva wrote. “The premise on which this accusation is based – that I pressured staff to inflate China’s 2018 Doing Business ranking due to the Bank’s capital increase – is false and rests on fundamental misunderstandings of my role as CEO of the World Bank, the work on the capital increase, my involvement in Doing Business 2018, and how I behave personally and professionally.

The report put Georgieva, 68, in danger of having his authority undermined just weeks before an annual meeting of global finance chiefs. The US Treasury considers the charges serious and is “analyzing the report,” while Republican lawmakers have called on the Treasury to investigate the allegations.

The IMF had previously pledged to conduct a “thorough, objective and timely review” of the allegations against Georgieva. Last week, after the WilmerHale audit was published, Georgieva said she disagreed with the findings and told fund staff at one town hall that she asked staff to recheck or recheck the data, but never change its final message.

The IMF press service declined to comment on the letter. WilmerHale did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In the letter, Georgieva said that his participation in the review of the Doing Business report was part of his role in overseeing the department that produced it.

She said she “asked the team to thoroughly check every data point and judgment applied to the ranking to make sure we were on a solid footing. I also asked the team to respond to the rankings. complaints from many members that their reforms did not result in higher rankings. ”

Georgieva said he later learned that the Doing Business team “decided to make some changes to the Chinese data, which affected its ranking.” In the end, China’s ranking stayed the same as the year before instead of going down, although it did not rise, Georgieva wrote.

Georgieva wrote in the letter that the audit contains “many other claims, innuendos and assumptions” that are false.

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