Ridding the world of poverty is not only morally right, but but would make the world a better place for everyone. In pursuit of this goal, the United Kingdom and the World Bank Group work together to develop policies on a wide range of issues, such as conflict prevention, governance, health, and education -- trying to enable millions in the poorest countries to be immunized, gain access to roads and clean water, and become teachers, among other benefits. The Bank Group’s expertise, knowledge, and ability to work across sectors and countries helps further the goals of human, economic, and sustainable development around the world.
The United Kingdom became a member of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) — the World Bank—in December 1945 and played a crucial role in helping found the Bretton Woods institutions (World Bank and International Monetary Fund). Today, the United Kingdom remains a major shareholder and an important and influential partner in global efforts to reduce poverty.
The World Bank’s office in London works to promote consensus around the international development agenda and build a platform for collaboration between the World Bank Group and the United Kingdom. It does this by promoting better understanding of the WBG’s mission and activities and building relationships with key stakeholders such as government, members of Parliament, civil society organizations, the private sector, academia, and the media.
It also supports outreach activities, often in collaboration with U.K. partners, such as organizing and supporting conferences, seminars, and other events on development-related topics. The office serves as an entry point for groups in the United Kingdom wishing to contact World Bank staff across the world or access the plethora of information the Bank publishes, and it responds to media queries. It also seeks to increase opportunities for collaboration between the United Kingdom and the World Bank Group through co-financing, trust funds, and joint analytical work in sectors and regions of mutual interest.
Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening represents the United Kingdom on the World Bank Board of Governors, the Bank’s senior decision-making body. The governors, usually ministers of finance or development, meet twice a year. The governors have the power to admit and suspend members of the World Bank Group, increase or decrease the authorized capital stock, determine the distribution of the net income of the Bank, and decide on the World Bank Group’s overall strategic direction. George Osborne, member of Parliament and chancellor of the exchequer, serves as the United Kingdom’s alternate governor.
World Bank Executive Director
The governor delegates responsibility for overseeing the day-to-day business of the United Kingdom’s interests at the Bank to the executive director (ED) for the United Kingdom. The ED is the governor’s representative on the 25-member World Bank Board of Executive Directors. EDs reside in Washington and normally meet twice a week to decide on borrowing and financial questions, projects, and policies that impact World Bank Group general operations. Gwen Hines is the current ED for the United Kingdom.
Shares and Voting Power
The World Bank Group has a weighted system of voting. All members of the Bank receive votes consisting of share votes (one vote for each share of the Bank's capital stock held by the member) plus basic votes (calculated so that the sum of all basic votes is equal to 5.55% of the sum of basic votes and share votes for all members). The voting power distribution differs from agency to agency within the World Bank Group.