On the official NBU Facebook page, the regulator's press service reported that on December 8, Kyrylo Shevchenko gave an interview to Bloomberg during his working visit to London. He was asked directly during this interview if the rumors about his possible resignation were true and whether he himself was going to leave this post.
The NBU Governor replied that, like his predecessor in this position, he was under pressure when making decisions within the NBU since his appointment: "I have been under pressure since my appointment. This refers to the pressure of certain persons on the decision-making process within the NBU, information campaigns in the press targeted on the NBU senior managers, and criminal cases."
When asked if he plans to leave his post because of this, the NBU Governor did not answer.
It is noteworthy that the NBU generally ignores the requests from the Ukrainian media on this matter. On December 6, sent a request to the central bank asking to comment on the information that the NBU Governor had been on sick leave from December 1. According to our information, this happened after the press conference of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy: allegedly the Head of State gave Shevchenko a month to write a letter of resignation.
Our outlet has made official inquiries to the NBU press service three times. It was met with silence that grossly violates the requirement of the current media legislation. Through unofficial channels, we were told that the press service would not comment on the information related to the NBU Governor.
Chronology of reports on the possible resignation of the NBU Governor
July 17 marks a year since Shevchenko became the National Bank Governor. He came to this position from the post of the state-owned Ukrgasbank Governor.
At that time, there was a personnel scandal at the NBU: several senior managers declared their disagreement with the policy of the central bank leadership and wrote letters of resignation. Moreover, Shevchenko himself was at risk of resignation, the British newspaper Financial Times reported, citing its sources.
The Office of the President allegedly considered such an option, and the resignation could occur as early as September, FT reported.
On September 9, the representatives of the public organization Demokratychna Sokyra (Democratic Axe) collected 50,000 signatures of Ukrainians for Shevchenko's resignation and brought them first to the building of the NBU, and then to the Verkhovna Rada. The Democratic Axe accused Shevchenko of involvement in the withdrawal of $40 million from Terra Bank he had previously headed.
On October 18, Bloomberg, citing three sources familiar with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s plans, announced that he wanted to fire Shevchenko because he was dissatisfied with his work. In addition, the NBU Governor developed poor relations with several senior officials of the regulator, which resulted in resignations that "angered Western donors, including the IMF."
Before proposing to the Verkhovna Rada to fire Shevchenko, Zelenskyy wanted to find a replacement for him, Bloomberg noted. Andriy Yermak, the Head of the President's Office, was looking for the candidates.
At the end of November, the Democratic Axe, together with , published the results of their investigation claiming that when Shevchenko had been managing Ukrgasbank, 200 million UAH had been withdrawn from it.
On November 26, during a press marathon, Zelenskyy stated that he considered Shevchenko's tenure as the National Bank Governor to be right but could not answer whether he would work in this post for at least another month.
The President noted that in the summer the personnel situation in the National Bank had been critical, and the IMF drew attention to that: "It is not about the person, but, in principle, that the climate in the National Bank is not very good. I understand what they mean. I calmed this situation down as best I could. There was already a question of how to preserve and increase."
According to him, the Ukrainian authorities are expecting $2.2 billion from the IMF in the spring of 2022. "There are very high risks that strongly influence my opinions on personnel policy at the National Bank," Zelenskyy explained.