ICICI Bank To Probe Allegations Against CEO Chanda Kochhar
ICICI Bank Board of Directors said on May 30 that it will institute an inquiry into allegations against bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar. The allegations were raised by an anonymous whistleblower who complained that Kochhar had not adhered to provisions relating to “code of conduct” of the bank.
ICICI, India’s third-biggest lender by assets, said the probe would examine allegations against the CEO. It is alleged that the chief executive did not adhere to provisions relating to the bank’s code of conduct. It will probe whether her actions involved “conflict of interest”. The probe would be headed by an independent person.
The bank is battling allegations that CEO Chanda Kochhar allegedly favoured Videocon Group in its lending practices. And also her husband’s company received a loan from Videocon Group’s Chairman. Videocon’s founder had investments in her husband’s company. The bank has backed Kochhar.
On March 29, ICICI Bank Chairman M.K. Sharma called the rumours “malicious and unfounded”
The chairman had also stated that no individual bank employee has the capacity to influence decisions of the credit committee. He even clarified the allegations by saying that Kochhar did not chair the committee which lent to Videocon.
On Wednesday, in a regulatory filing the bank said: “The Board of Directors, at its meeting held on May 29, 2018 decided to institute an enquiry to be headed by an independent and credible person, to examine and enquire into an anonymous whistle blower complaint, disclosing certain information, alleging in substance that Bank’s MD and CEO had not adhered to provisions relating to “Code of Conduct” of the bank and legal and regulatory provisions relating to “conflict of interest” over a period of time, as also alleging quid pro quo in the course of her work in dealing with certain customers/borrowers of the Bank.”
Adding to it the bank said, “The Audit Committee will also, in consultation with the Head of the Enquiry, make arrangements to assist him with independent legal and other professional support as may be required.”
The bank has alleged that the appropriate responses would be submitted to Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in accordance with regulation.
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