Ex-Mastercard CEO Banga is selected by the US to lead World Bank.

By Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON, March 1, (Reuters)

Sources familiar with the plans indicated that Joe Biden’s choice for the World Bank CEO post was ex-Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga. He launched a “charm offensive”, which aimed to win the job, according to sources.

Biden appointed the 63 year old, Indian-born business executive last week to head the global bank and kick-start the 77 years-old institution’s overhaul to address climate change.

Biden’s nomination Banga (63-year-old American citizen) to the U.S. Senate ensures that he will be able to oversee billions in aid funding.

Janet Yellen, U.S. Treasury secretary, stated that she is pleased with the positive feedback received so far by Group of 20 finance officials about Banga. Banga has been praised in part for his work in transforming Mastercard into a tool that lifts people from poverty.

The United States is the largest shareholder of the World Bank, holding 16.35% of its voting rights. This gives it strong control over the bank’s policies. The president of the lender works closely with the Treasury Department.

Non-profit groups have criticised Biden’s nomination quickly. These groups had asked for member countries not to nominate a president who is from an emerging market. Others have called for the first female president of the bank in its 77-year history.

The World Bank declined comment to Banga’s meetings, as the nominating process continues until March 29. Other members could still submit candidates.

According to one source, so far, there have not been any other nominations. (Reporting and editing by Andrea Shalal; edited by Diane Craft

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