ICICI Bank Orders Probe Into Allegation On Conflict of Interest Against Chanda Kochhar

MUMBAY headquartered ICICI Ltd’s Board of Directors on Wednesday   decided to institute an independent enquiry to examine the merit of the complaint against its CEO Chanda Kochhar on alleged “conflict of interest” while Okaying loans to certain borrowers. The bank reportedly received a second complaint against the high profile banker, says Moneycontrol. The bank however had not disclosed the details of the allegation received from an anonymous whistleblower .In October 2016,the first whistleblower had accused her of nepotism. The allegations suggest that quid pro quo on Kochhar’s part as ICICI bank had granted loans to Videocon group, whose promoter Venugopal Dhoot had investments in NuPower Renewables which is owned by ICICI Bank CEO’s husband Deepak Kochhar. The   Bank said it will institute an inquiry into the allegations raised by an anonymous whistleblower against Chief Executive Chanda Kochhar.ICICI.The probe will be headed by an independent person who will be mandated to examine the accusation that the chief executive did not adhere to provisions relating to the bank’s code of conduct and whether her actions involved “conflict of interest”. The bank‘s CEO is being accused of allegedly favouring Videocon Group by tweaking its lending process. Videocon’s founders had an investment in a renewable energy company founded by Kochhar’s husband. The bank had been backing Kochhar brushing aside the complaint as rumours “malicious and unfounded”. TOI reports ICICI Bank in a regulatory filing said the enquiry will be headed by an independent and creditable person. The ICICI Board of Directors has said that its audit committee will take further actions in the matter. The committee will appoint the head of enquiry; determine the terms of reference and the period covered. The audit committee will also help the head of enquiry with the required independent legal and other professional support.”The scope of enquiry would be comprehensive and include all relevant matters arising out of and in the course of examination of the facts and wherever warranted. It may be recalled the Board of ICICI Bank’s Director expressed full faith in Chanda Kochhar whose current tenure as CEO will end on March 31, 2019. It had reviewed credit approval processes and found them to be robust, according to a March 28 filing by the bank.

 

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