Economy

ICICI board meet may take up allegations against CEO

Surabhi Mumbai | Updated on May 07, 2018 Published on May 06, 2018

Apart from the bank’s results, today’s board meet may also discuss Kochhar’s tenure

The ICICI Bank board is expected to discuss allegations of conflict of interest against its Managing Director and CEO Chanda Kochhar when it meets on Monday to approve the annual results.

Despite calls for Kochhar to step down, the board so far has staunchly supported her and denied the allegations of any quid pro quo between Videocon Group and ICICI Bank’s chief executive officer (CEO) and her family members, including Deepak Kochhar and his company NuPower Renewables, for a ₹3,250 crore loan given by the bank in 2012.

The Central Bureau of Investigation and the Income Tax authorities are now looking into the issue. “It is up to the board to decide whether it wants to discuss these issues or just stick to the agenda, which is of approving the annual results,” noted a source close to the development, adding that the issue is likely to be discussed, given the concerns raised by various investors.

The ICICI board has six independent directors, including the Chairman MK Sharma and Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India Chairman VK Sharma. LIC has over 9 per cent stake in the lender. The government also has a nominee director on the bank’s board – Lok Ranjan – the Joint Secretary with the Department of Financial Services.

Last month, ICICI Bank Chairman Sharma had also met with institutional investors to clarify their doubts on the issue, but the lender had denied any talks on a succession plan to replace Kochhar.

In her first public interaction since the allegations broke out, Kochhar will also chair the earnings call with analysts and investors as well as the media on Monday evening after the results.

ICICI Bank is the country’s largest private sector lender and analysts expect its net profits to take a hit due to higher provisioning for bad loans. The lender had posted a 32 per cent drop in its net profit for the October to December quarter of 2017-18.

Published on May 06, 2018
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