Trichet declared that his bank’s policy of carefully managing its money would also apply to the construction of the new headquarters. « We must ensure that construction costs remain within the estimated budget, » Trichet said.

Originally, the costs for the structure were not to exceed €500 million. The estimated investment budget was €850 million. In Frankfurt’s Ostend district, the entire project climbed to €1.3 billion.

In truth, the delays and cost overruns for the ambitious new headquarters building result from the fact that former ECB President Trichet and his staff set budgets that were far too low — and therefore unrealistic — and from their decision to oversee the project themselves rather than hiring a general contractor. In an audit performed before construction began, the European Court of Auditors concluded that there were cost-control problems and little transparency in the awarding of contracts