Christine Lagarde. Picture: REUTERS
Christine Lagarde. Picture: REUTERS

Washington –  IMF MD Christine Lagarde said on Tuesday she had submitted her resignation from the global lender, saying she had more clarity about her nomination to be the next head of the European Central Bank. 

Lagarde said her resignation was with effect from September 12, opening the way for the IMF to choose its next leader. 

Her resignation comes after Lagarde was nominated on July 2 to be the next head of the European Central Bank. Sources said she did not immediately resign from the IMF because of uncertainty about whether the new European Parliament would approve her appointment.

A senior EU official said on Monday that the EU wants to have an agreed European candidate to replace Lagarde at the helm of the IMF.  EU leaders nominated her last week as next president of the ECB, a job that will start in November.

“There is a strong urge among European countries to come with one candidate,” the official said on condition of anonymity before a meeting of eurozone finance ministers on Monday that is likely to discuss the matter informally. The official said the president of the Eurogroup, Mario Centeno, was among those working on this, together with Finland, which currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency.

One official said some EU countries wanted a candidate from an EU member state, an option that could rule out British candidates, as Britain is due to leave the EU at the end of October.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney has been mentioned in media reports as one of Europe’s possible candidates. Though born and raised in Canada, Carney, who is also a former governor of the Bank of Canada, holds British and Irish passports in addition to his Canadian citizenship.

The issue is not on the formal agenda of Monday's meeting as the IMF itself has not even yet opened the procedure to find a new MD.