STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Videocon case: Pushed to a corner, ICICI Bank opts for credible probe against Chanda Kochhar

Independent inquiry to get to the bottom of allegations of quid pro quo deal with Videocon Group, conflict of interest.

Published: 31st May 2018 05:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st May 2018 06:15 AM   |  A+A-

Chanda Kochhar (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

MUMBAI: Pressure seems to be mounting on ICICI Bank MD & CEO Chanda Kochhar, who has been accused of quid pro quo deals with the Videocon Group as well as conflict of interest as the private lender on Wednesday ordered an ‘independent probe’ into the allegations.

The bank’s move is notable because barely a month ago, it had given a clean chit to Kochhar saying there was no truth in the allegations. So what’s changed in between? According to sources, a recent notice by Sebi to ICICI Bank on the bank’s dealings with Videocon Group and NuPower may be the trigger.

In an exchange filing, ICICI Bank said on Wednesday that the enquiry will be headed by an ‘independent and credible person’. “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, use of forensics/email reviews and recordal of statements of relevant personnel etc,” it added.

The bank, however, didn’t disclose much except that its board mandated the audit committee to appoint the head of enquiry, determine its terms of reference and period covered. The committee will also help with the required independent legal and other professional support.

“An independent probe should have been conducted much before. The timing of this proposed enquiry is questionable and could be due to the notice from Sebi,” said Arvind Gupta who had flagged the possible quid pro quo in ICICI Bank’s loans to Videocon way back in 2016.

“We don’t know who will conduct the probe, or who will determine the credibility of the probe and there’s no timeframe by when it will be completed,” Gupta told TNIE.

Echoing him, Shriram Subramanian, founder of InGovern Research Services, a proxy advisory firm, said: “The board should have conducted an independent probe earlier. Now, whether the board had the conviction or not when they backed the CEO is a question mark.”

Gupta had alleged Kochhar did not adhere to the code of conduct of the bank and regulatory provisions on conflict of interest.

Points of Contention

  • Kochhar provided loan to Videocon group on a quid pro quo basis

  • Kochhar was on the credit committee that approved the Rs 3,250 crore loan to Videocon

  • Videocon Group allegedly pumped the money into NuPower Renewables, owned by Kochhar’s husband Deepak

  • Kochhar’s brother-in-law Rajiv performed debt-restructuring work on corporate borrowers from ICICI Bank, including Videocon



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp