Exclusive: EBRD head faces investigation call over dossier on directors


By Marc Jones

LONDON (Reuters) – A number of member states have known as for the pinnacle of the European Financial institution for Reconstruction and Growth to be investigated over claims the lender inappropriately gathered private data on a few of its administrators, in keeping with a doc seen by Reuters.

The Could 29 grievance towards EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti was made by a number of board members, who characterize among the financial institution’s 67 member governments, to its chief compliance officer on the finish of Could, 4 sources advised Reuters. All 4 have been administrators on the EBRD on the time.

“The President and ExCom (government committee) members would appear to have put a repeated observe in place which includes gathering delicate and private data on Board Members,” the grievance, a replica of which was seen by Reuters, stated.

“We hereby request that you simply, as Chief Compliance Officer, provoke a process … concerning alleged misconduct and alleged inappropriate behaviour by the President of EBRD,” the letter stated. It was anonymously signed “a lot of involved board members and shareholders”.

The 4 sources stated an exterior investigation had since been opened.

The letter of grievance stated that on Could 3-Four a lot of board members anonymously acquired paperwork containing copies of electronic mail exchanges between the president and government committee, in addition to excerpts from different official financial institution reviews, which contained private data on board members compiled with out their consent.

The letter stated the language utilized in among the paperwork appeared as “impolite, unethical and derogatory”.

One of many sources stated that seven authorities representatives had collectively filed the grievance.

Chakrabarti declined to reply questions on the matter when approached by Reuters. The EBRD’s Managing Director for Communications, Jonathan Charles, declined to verify or deny the existence of the leaked paperwork or whether or not there was an inquiry.

“We’d by no means touch upon any alleged leaks of paperwork or alleged inquiries,” Charles stated. “That shouldn’t be taken as both affirmation or denial of whether or not any paperwork or inquiries exist.”

Charles posted a tweet after the Reuters story was printed, describing the piece as “inaccurate”. He declined to element the inaccuracies to Reuters, reiterating that the financial institution will “by no means touch upon alleged leaks”.

The British authorities, which put Chakrabarti ahead for the EBRD president function in 2012, additionally declined to remark.

Reuters has not seen or been in a position to independently overview the leaked paperwork or set up the the reason why they have been produced.

The letter of grievance stated that primarily based on the contents of the leaked paperwork, “there’s cause to consider” that “delicate medical data” on one government-appointed director had been relayed to the chief committee, the EBRD’s prime administration physique, with out consent.

It additionally stated that, primarily based on the paperwork, there was cause to consider that members of the chief committee had “collectively and knowingly” misled one other director to decelerate a strategic resolution and “deliberate and brought measures” to affect the composition of influential committees on the financial institution.

The letter was written on EBRD headed paper and referred in depth to technical particulars of the financial institution’s code of conduct.

SENSITIVE DOCUMENTS

In one other letter seen by Reuters, Chakrabarti wrote to EBRD board administrators on Could 4, days after the paperwork have been stated to have been leaked. He stated that he had been “made conscious that a few of you have got been despatched, anonymously, delicate official financial institution paperwork.”

Within the letter, he stated the matter could be regarded into by the financial institution’s chief compliance officer however questioned whether or not it was a deliberate try to stoke divisions inside the EBRD.

“It appears to me that each the act and its timing are designed to attempt to each divide Board colleagues and to create a rift between Board and administration,” the letter stated. “We should not let both of these issues happen.”

The letter didn’t particularly check with any file containing private data.

The EBRD declined to touch upon the Could Four letter.

Two of the sources stated the EBRD’s chief compliance officer had referred the grievance from the group of board members to the pinnacle of the financial institution’s audit committee, who then convened a broader committee to evaluate it. The 2 sources stated that committee determined to usher in an exterior investigator.

One of many sources stated the exterior investigation was being carried out by Swiss legislation agency Lenz & Staehelin.

Two spokeswomen for Lenz & Staehelin didn’t reply to e-mailed and cellphone requests for remark.

The EBRD’s secretary common and the pinnacle of its audit committee additionally didn’t reply to requests for remark.

The EBRD was based in 1991 by the worldwide group to assist the communist Jap Bloc rework to capitalism after the Chilly Conflict. The financial institution has seen fast enlargement lately into the Center East and North Africa.

It’s owned by 67 governments, invests round 10 billion euros ($11.5 billion) a yr in virtually 40 international locations, however has confronted a run of turbulence lately.

In 2014 it stopped lending in Russia, as soon as its greatest market, after Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea, whereas Britain’s vote to depart the EU in 2016 has stirred debate about its location in London and the truth that a Briton runs it.

($1 = 0.8687 euros)

(Enhancing by Catherine Evans and Nick Tattersall)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost employees and is generated by auto-feed.



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