Money & Banking

Kochhar likely to continue as ICICI Bank chief for now

Surabhi Mumbai | Updated on April 11, 2018 Published on April 10, 2018
Chanda Kochhar

Chanda Kochhar, MD and CEO, ICICI Bank

FinMin against any knee-jerk reaction

If the Finance Ministry has its way, Chanda Kochhar is likely to continue as the CEO and Managing Director of ICICI Bank for now as the Ministry is against any immediate change.

According to sources, the Finance Ministry is not keen to get involved in the issue or support the call for a replacement for Kochhar. The RBI, too, has remained silent on the issue.

“There is no pressing need for a new CEO as of now. It is felt that this would add to the instability at the bank,” said the source, indicating that a knee-jerk reaction would not help as the banking sector is already under a lot of stress. The government is represented on the ICICI Bank board by Lok Ranjan, Joint Secretary in the Department of Financial Services. VK Sharma, Chairman of state owned Life Insurance Corporation, is also on the Board of the Bank.

Another source indicated that the investigation is still on and it may be too early to talk about a replacement. “It is for the RBI to first examine the whole issue before a concrete decision can be taken,” he said.

Institutional investors have raised concerns over the recent turn of events and about Kochhar continuing in her position. There is also a talk of an interim CEO.

Though a meeting of the board of directors of the bank is not in the offing this month, it cannot be ruled out. “Depending on the situation, a meeting could be called in the next few weeks,” said the first source.

Kochhar has been under siege over allegations of a conflict of interest in a ₹3,250-crore loan extended by ICICI Bank to the Videocon Group in 2012.

Her brother-in-law Rajiv Kochhar, founder and CEO of Avista Advisory, has been questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation while her husband Deepak Kochhar, who is the founder and CEO of NuPower Renewables, is also under the scanner.

Published on April 10, 2018
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