Georgieva pressures World Bank employees to support China in a reporting ethics survey

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FILE PHOTO: Participants stand near the World Bank logo at the International Monetary Fund-World Bank Annual Meeting 2018 on October 12, 2018.Reuters / Johannes P Christo / File photo held in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia

September 16, 2021

By Andrea Schallal and David Lauder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – World Bank leaders, including then-CEO Kristalina Georgieva, are staffed to raise China’s ranking in the bank’s Doing Business 2018 report, according to an independent survey released on Thursday. “Extreme pressure” was applied.

Produced by law firm Wilmer Hale at the request of the Bank’s Institutional Review Board, this report describes China’s impact on the World Bank, Georgieva, now then World Bank President, Director of the International Monetary Fund, and Jim, Managing. He expressed concern over Yong’s decision. Kim.

“I fundamentally disagree with the findings and interpretations,” Georgieva explained to the IMF’s board of directors.

World Bank Group has canceled the entire “doing business” The In-Doing-Business-2018-and-2020 Business Environment Report raises “ethical issues, including the behavior of former board members, current and/or former bankers” by internal audits and investigations by Wilmer Hale. It says it was.

The US Treasury, which manages major US stocks from the IMF and the World Bank, said it was analyzing what it called “significant findings”.

Wilmer Hale Report. The PDF cited “direct and indirect pressure” from senior officials in Mr Kim’s office and changed the report’s methodology to raise China’s score, which could have been at his instruction. He said it was highly sexual.

Georgieva and chief adviser Semyon Jankov pressured employees to “make some changes to China’s data points” and raise their rankings at a time when banks were seeking China’s support for significant capital growth. Said that.

China’s ranking in the Doing Business 2018 report, published in October 2017, jumped from 7th to 78th from the first draft report following changes in data methods.

The Do Business report ranks countries based on regulatory and legal environment, entrepreneurship, financing, infrastructure and other business environment indicators.

“serious quest”

The report comes nearly two years after Georgieva became IMF chief, shortly before the biggest global economic crisis in the fund’s 76-year history triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The US Treasury is analyzing “significant findings” in the Wilmer Hale report, Treasury spokeswoman Alexandra Ramanna told Reuters. “Our main responsibility is to maintain the integrity of international financial institutions.”

The WilmerHale report, in its 2019 Doing Business 2020 report, also cited pressures related to data used to determine rankings of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Azerbaijan, but also cited pressures associated with data used to determine rankings , but the President of the World Bank. No evidence was found that there were members of the prefecture. Or was the executive committee involved in these changes.

Saudi Arabia jumps from 30th to 62nd in Doing Business 2020 report

“From now on, we will work on a new approach to assessing the trade and investment environment,” the World Bank said.

Wilmerhall said he was hired by the lender’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development in January to investigate the internal circumstances that led to the discrepancy in the data. The bank said it supported the investigation, but it was completely independent.

increase in capital

According to the report, the impetus to raise China’s ranking came as bank management “engaged in careful negotiations” over a significant capital increase and China was disappointed with a lower-than-expected score. Is.

“If multilateralism is at stake and the campaign fails to reach its goals, the World Bank has fallen into a “very serious problem,” Georgieva told the Wilmer Hale investigators.

World Bank 2018 has announced that $13 billion in capital He paid money. As a result, China’s shareholding ratio increased from 4.68% to 6.01%.

Wilmer Hale said Georgieva visited the “Doing Business” manager’s home to obtain a hard copy of the final report reflecting the changes that boosted China’s rankings and helped employees “solve the problem”. . He said he was grateful.

The report surrounds the Doing Business report with a “toxic culture” and “fear of retaliation” and team members “disagree with the orders of the President or CEO of the World Bank, without risking the job. I felt I didn’t.” can do. “

Former World Bank chief economist Paul Michael Romer previously raised concerns about the integrity of the 2018 Doing Business Report, saying Chile’s ranking may have been biased towards then-president of socialism, Michelle Bachelet, who said he had sex. Romer left the bank shortly after his remarks.

(Reporting by David Lauder and Andrea Schall, Edited by Marguerite Choy and Heather Timmons)

Georgieva pressures World Bank employees to support China in a reporting ethics survey

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