Attali leaves EBRD without payoff

JACQUES ATTALI, former president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, will receive a one-off subsistence payment and his moving costs to help him go back to France, but no payoff, according to settlement terms released yesterday.

In return for forgoing his pounds 140,000 tax-free payoff, Mr Attali has negotiated an indemnity against any claims arising out of a damning report last week on his stewardship by the bank's audit committee and accountants Coopers & Lybrand.

A letter from Anne Wibble, the Swedish chairman of the bank, says he is also indemnified against claims arising from 'any act committed or omission made by you in good faith'. But the bank will be allowed to proceed against Mr Attali if it can prove he did not act in good faith.

After correspondence with Mrs Wibble on about the settlement terms following his resignation on Tuesday, Mr Attali's final act was a terse one-line letter saying 'I confirm my consent to the foregoing.'

Three formal nominations for Mr Attali's successor had arrived by last night's deadline, which the EBRD later extended to 28 July. The candidates are Jacques de Larosiere, head of the French central bank, Henning Christopherson, Danish vice-president of the European Commission, and Leszek Balcerowicz, former Polish finance minister. Giuliano Amato, former Italian prime minister, and Miklos Nemeth, a Hungarian economist, are possible candidates.

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