ECB president Mario Draghi is under investigation over allegations he played a part in an elite group of global bankers

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Draghi will face scrutiny over alleged lobbying links (Source: Getty)

European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi is set to come under investigation by an EU body after a complaint over his membership of an elite group of bankers from around the world, including JP Morgan, UBS and Credit Suisse.

The European Ombudsman, which follows up complaints by EU citizens over maladministration, will investigate whether Draghi comes under undue influence as a member of the Group of Thirty, which meets to discuss economic policy.

The group includes governor of the Bank of England (BoE) Mark Carney among its members, but the complaint is focused on the possibility of lobbying from chief executives of major banks and investment businesses.

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The complaint was brought by anti-lobbying group the Corporate Europe Observatory, which alleges Draghi’s membership could hit his role in regulatory oversight of the sector.

This is the second time the complaint had been made, but the Ombudsman judged enough had changed in the role of the ECB that there was a “need to reflect on this new context”. The ECB has been given more regulatory powers over the banking sector since the financial crisis.

Corporate Europe Observatory’s complaint says “it is vital that members of the ECB decision making bodies avoid [the perception of] conflicts of interest, and avoid close association with special interest groups, including the big banks represented in the G30.”

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Non-banking members include Timothy Geithner, a former US Treasury secretary who now heads private equity firm Warburg Pincus and Philipp Hildebrand, vice chairman of BlackRock, the world’s biggest investment manager.

The group also includes former BoE governor Mervyn King and Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman.

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