Yellen says she expects Ajay Banga to be elected World Bank president
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she expects former Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga to be elected president of the World Bank as nominations wind down.
Speaking to lawmakers on Wednesday, Yellen said if Banga secured the role, he would be “charged with accelerating our progress to evolve the institution to better meet the challenges of the 21st century.”
Although nominations close at 6 p.m. Eastern time, two people familiar with the situation said they were not aware of any other candidates as of Wednesday morning.
While the US, the Bank’s largest shareholder, has traditionally elected the World Bank’s President, it needs the support of other member countries.
Banga’s offer for the job comes while the lender has come under fire for failing to adequately address the magnitude of the global climate crisis while upholding its poverty reduction mission.
The bank’s current president, David Malpass, resigned from his post early last month almost a year ago after facing intense pressure at a conference last September to say whether he believes humans are causing climate change. He later said his remarks had been misinterpreted.
Banga has spent the last few weeks on a “listening tour”, flanked by Treasury officials, to present his credentials and gather information that could prepare him for the role.
In an interview with the Financial Times earlier this month, Banga said the lender must “do everything it can” to pull more cash off its balance sheet while maintaining its prime credit rating.
A G20-commissioned report released last summer found that multilateral development banks, including the World Bank, may have been more conservative than needed to maintain their triple-A credit rating from the big three rating agencies.
Banga said he will push to secure private sector support for projects taken over by the bank while looking at the G20-commissioned report on so-called “capital adequacy frameworks” by multilateral development lenders like the World Bank.
Earlier this year, Yellen urged the bank’s leadership to implement reforms “quickly” to free up more money to fight climate change.
https://www.ft.com/content/4343462e-a495-4ecd-ad75-0ca94d65a3c4 Yellen says she expects Ajay Banga to be elected World Bank president