Kristalina Georgieva, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund has kept her job after the IMF executive board backed the former EU and World Bank employee in the wake of allegations that she pressured World Bank staff to modify data to favour China. The board said it had ‘full confidence’ in Georgieva, after an American law firm led an inquiry into allegations that she pressured staffers at the institution to boost China’s ranking in its 2018 Doing Business report.
Georgieva, the EU’s former budget commissioner, who was appointed Managing Director of the IMF in 2019 has always vehemently denied any wrongdoing naturally welcomed the findings. ‘This has obviously been a difficult episode for me personally’ she said, adding, ‘However, I want to express my unyielding support for the independence and integrity of institutions such as the World Bank and IMF; and my respect for all those committed to protecting the values on which these organizations are founded’.
Not that everyone agreed with the findings. After the announcement, Janet Yellen said that the law firm's findings into the data-rigging allegations ‘raised legitimate issues and concerns’ and that ‘proactive steps must be taken to reinforce data integrity and credibility at the IMF’. There was also a statement from the US treasury warning that it will monitor the follow-up closely, will evaluate any new facts or findings and that the report does underscore the need for shareholders to be vigilant in defending the integrity of both the Bank and the Fund.