EBRD officials set to quit: Uncertainty over Attali's future 'bringing work to a standstill'

THE CONTROVERSY over Jacques Attali, the beleaguered president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, has brought bank morale to an all-time low and large numbers of key officials are ready to quit unless the Group of Seven moves swiftly to replace him.

According to sources at the EBRD, the uncertainty over Mr Attali's future and the prospect of a damning report on the bank's spending next month are threatening to bring work to a standstill.

Professionals are becoming embroiled in political feuding. Many feel betrayed at the controversy over spending and by Mr Attali, whose controversial behaviour they believe is risking permanent harm to the institution.

Numbers of EBRD bankers are already circulating their CVs in the market, taking the pessimistic view that the Group of Seven has failed to realise the seriousness of the crisis.

'The bank will never cease to function, but if people of extremely high calibre do decide to leave it will be very difficult if not impossible to replace them,' one bank source said. 'There is a serious risk that the bank will never recover if this drags on, and new work will grind to a halt.'

There is a growing consensus at the bank that Mr Attali should go, regardless of the conclusions of the report on EBRD spending commissioned by the main industrial country shareholders. The audit committee is due to publish its report on 15 July, but a draft will go the World Economic Summit in Tokyo the week before.

It is felt that, despite Mr Attali's pioneering work in setting up the institution to assist the economic transition in the former Soviet bloc, he has become a permanent liability.

Earlier this week Mr Attali's prospects of holding on to his job were eroded further after shareholder support for a reorganisation plan for the bank collapsed.

That has also in effect frozen the offer by Mr Attali to Ernie Stern, number two at the World Bank, to become chief operating officer.

A Stern appointment would have downgraded the emphasis on merchant banking and assisting the private sector in favour of development banking, with its traditional bias towards the public sector.

The proposal was intended to distance Mr Attali from day-to-day management of the bank and won his strong endorsement because it would have kept him in his job.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Admin Assistant

£12000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An expanding Insurance Brokerag...

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Guru Careers: Pricing Analyst

£30 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst with experienc...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders