European Central Bank head accused of conflict

AP News
Posted: Jul 31, 2012 6:12 AM

BRUSSELS (AP) — A European pressure group is accusing the Mario Draghi, the head of the European Central Bank, of conflict of interest for his membership of what it describes as a banking lobby group.

Corporate Europe Observatory, which says it is dedicated to exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the European Union, says on its website that Draghi's membership in the group is at odds with the ECB's rules on ethics.

The Group of Thirty describes itself as a nonprofit body of representatives of the private and public sectors and academia aiming to deepen understanding of international economic issues. Other members include Bank of England head Mervyn King, New York Federal Reserve president William C. Dudley and Bank of Canada head Mark Carney, as well as the general director of the Bank for International Settlements, Jaime Caruana.

Gundi Gadesmann, a spokeswoman for EU ombudsman Nikiforos Diamandouros, confirmed Tuesday that a complaint had been received. She said a letter had been sent to the ECB, which has until Oct. 31 to reply.

An ECB spokeswoman said the bank had received the inquiry and did not see a conflict of interest.