EBRD man dismissed over expenses case

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THE EUROPEAN Bank for Reconstruction and Development has dismissed a consultant after finding that the Securities and Futures Authority had judged him to be not 'fit and proper' for falsely claiming expenses in previous employment.

Arthur Baer was told yesterday that the bank would no longer require his services.

The SFA had found that, when working for a leading City merchant bank, he had falsely obtained cash from London while in charge of the firm's Eastern European offices.

He asked a junior official to forge false local invoices in Polish and then wipe the records from the computer. He also falsely claimed subsistence expenses. The total sums involved amounted to pounds 34,000.

The EBRD is not a member of the SFA and officials said Mr Baer was not known to have contravened any of the bank's rules.

But the bank is highly sensitive to affairs like this after Jacques Attali, the former president, was forced to resign last summer for lavish spending of EBRD funds on personal expenses such as private jets.

Mr Baer worked for the EBRD last year as a consultant to the EBRD-UN TAM programme, advising Eastern European companies on privatisation. EBRD officials considered that he had done a good job. He had completed roughly 35 days of consulting, at a fee of pounds 300 per day.