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Kochhar under pressure to resign

Surabhi Mumbai | Updated on April 10, 2018 Published on April 09, 2018

Chanda Kochhar   -  BusinessLine

ICICI Bank board may discuss matter at next meeting

 

Pressure seems to be mounting on ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar to step down. While the bank’s board has previously come out in support of Kochhar, the issue could be taken up at its next meeting.

Institutional investors are already understood to be raising concerns over the alleged irregularities in the bank’s ₹3,250-crore loan to the Videocon Group in 2012.

On Monday, the private sector lender continued to face the heat as global rating agency Fitch said allegations over the loan to Videocon raise questions of corporate governance and pose reputational risks for the bank.

“Fitch will closely monitor developments, and would take appropriate rating action if risks to the bank’s reputation and financial profile were to rise considerably,” it said in a statement.

“That said, the bank’s rating is underpinned by relatively strong capitalisation and profitability,” it added.

The Finance Ministry is understood to be keeping close tabs on the issue but has decided to take a hands-off approach for now. “Investigative agencies are already probing the allegations. The government is being fully apprised of the matter on a daily basis,” said a source, adding that if required, it would take a proactive role. The government nominee on the board of ICICI Bank is Lok Ranjan, Joint Secretary in the Department of Financial Services. LIC Chairman VK Sharma is also on the board.

Meanwhile, the CBI questioned Kochhar’s brother-in-law Rajiv Kochhar for the fifth straight day. “He was questioned on more details relating to the loan,” said a source, adding that he is likely to be summoned again on Tuesday.

The CBI is expected to widen its investigation and question more officials from NuPower Renewables, which was founded by Deepak Kochhar, husband of the ICICI Bank chief.

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Published on April 09, 2018
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