The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.


All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Why the marble remains tarnished

The marble floors are still in place at the EBRD’s office on London’s Bishopsgate, the grand pillars and glass still deck the waiting area and the presidential suite remains with its grand vistas. But little else at the EBRD remains of the Jacques Attali era. Since he launched the bank with such a grandiose vision 10 years ago, it has fallen on leaner times. The grand claims to transform entire economies have been replaced by the limited promises to clean up management practices in its designated area of interest in eastern and central Europe. The men now running the show are no longer Europe’s heavy hitters but technocrats bent as much on curbing internal costs as doing imaginative deals.

       
Charles Frank

As one observer of the early days of the European Bank for Reconstruction&Development notes: "It is an altogether more boring, less visible institution today."


It is also a more chastened and less optimistic institution. The EBRD's early bankers saw themselves as providing seed finance for the eager entrepreneurs waiting to throw off the Communist yoke and build businesses. When the Russian economy collapsed in 1998, this dream of a new pool of emerging markets died, and pressure grew to spend money on establishing the infrastructure necessary for markets to function.


As one EBRD banker puts it: "Our growth will be in Russia and we will have to do it through imposing corporate governance and building institutions, which is development banking through the back door.


"The challenge is in making money in Russia, Kazakhstan or Ukraine where issues of transparency, governance, civil society and a lack of checks and balances in the system are uppermost.




You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TODAY

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually

FREE 7 DAY TRIAL

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors

LOGIN NOW

Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree