MUMBAI: Ending weeks of speculation, the ICICI Bank Ltd on Friday appointed retired bureaucrat Girish Chaturvedi as its part-time Non-Executive Chairman, with effect from July 1. Tenure of the incumbent chairman, M K Sharma, expires on Saturday.
The Board also appointed Chaturvedi as an additional (independent) director from July 1, for a period of three years, subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals.
The move comes at a time when the country’s largest private sector lender is battling serious allegations against its senior management and the Board. It was also learnt that some of the Board members are under the scanner, besides raising concerns about the way the Board handled allegations of impropriety against its CEO & MD Chanda Kochhar.
“The Board approved the appointment of Girish Chandra Chaturvedi as non-executive part-time Chairman effective from July 1, 2018, or the date of receipt of RBI approval for such appointment, whichever is later in the vacancy caused by cessation of term of M K Sharma (Independent Director & Chairman),” it said.
Chaturvedi is a 1977 batch IAS officer and has served as secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, and additional secretary (financial services) in the Finance Ministry. He was also on the boards of IDBI Bank, Bank of Baroda and Canara Bank.
Both Chaturvedi and interim COO Sandip Bakshi have their tasks cut out amid a series of ongoing regulatory investigations and enquiries.
Besides an investigation by the CBI into the loans extended by ICICI to Videocon and Essar Group and the allegations of quid po quo against Kochhar, markets regulator SEBI is believed to have initiated adjudication proceedings against the bank and Kochhar, who is on a forced vacation till the completion of an internal probe headed by former SC judge B N Srikrishna.
Analysts are sceptical about the lender’s accounting practices, which, according to a whistleblower, were inflated at least in 31 accounts. The bank, in a disclosure to bourses last Friday, denied the allegations, while news reports suggest that the banking regulator has initiated a fresh probe into the bank following the whistleblower complaint.