IMF chief denies involvement in World Bank data manipulation scandal

IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva on Thursday denied coercing a staff to alter a report to avoid angering China in her previous job at the World Bank.

She was indicted by an investigations conducted by the World Bank, after it found irregularities in the 2018 and 2020 editions of the now discontinued Doing Business report.

Georgieva, a Bulgarian national who took the helm of the International Monetary Fund in October 2019, rejected its conclusions regarding her role.

“I disagree fundamentally with the findings and interpretations of the Investigation of Data Irregularities as it relates to my role in the World Bank’s Doing Business report of 2018,” she said in a statement.

The allegations could damage her reputation, and provide grist for long-time US critics of the multilateral organizations and their treatment of China.

Georgieva said she briefed the IMF’s board on the situation. The board is expected to meet to discuss the issue but it is unclear when.

– Changing China’s ranking -The flagship report ranks countries based on their business regulations and economic reforms, and has caused governments to jockey for a higher spot to attract investors.

According to the investigation, Beijing complained about its ranking of 78th on the list in 2017, and the next year’s report would have shown Beijing dropping even further.

The Washington-based development lender’s staff was preparing the 2018 edition while leadership engaged in sensitive negotiations to increase its lending capital, which hinged on an agreement with China and the United States.

In the final weeks before the report was released in late October 2017, the World Bank’s then-president Jim Kim and Georgieva, at the time the bank’s CEO, asked staff to look into updating the methodology in regard to China, according to the investigation by law firm WilmerHale.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here