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ICICI Bank begins hunt for new chairman as MK Sharma’s term nears completion

Among various independent directors, seasoned banker and former Bank of Baroda chairman and managing director MD Mallya is set to be a front-runner to succeed Sharma.

business Updated: Jun 04, 2018 16:31 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, New Delhi
ICICI Bank,ICICI Bank chairman,ICICI Bank board
ICICI Bank is facing the heat in view of the allegations made against its CEO and MD Chanda Kochhar for allegedly providing loans on quid pro quo basis to benefit family members.(Abhijit Bhatlekar/ Mint)

Private sector ICICI Bank has initiated the process of appointment of a new non-executive chairman, as the term of incumbent MK Sharma comes to an end on June 30.

The process to hunt for a new chairman has begun, and the board has to take a call if the appointment has to be made from the existing pool of independent directors or by inviting an outsider to take up the position, sources said.

Among various independent directors, seasoned banker and former Bank of Baroda chairman and managing director MD Mallya is set to be a front-runner to succeed Sharma.

Mallya was recently appointed to the ICICI Bank board as an independent director on May 29. Other independent directors are Uday Chitale, Dileep Choksi, Neelam Dhawan, Radhakrishnan Nair, V K Sharma (LIC Chairman), and Lok Ranjan (government nominee director).

ICICI Bank is facing the heat in view of the allegations made against its CEO and MD Chanda Kochhar for allegedly providing loans on quid pro quo basis to benefit family members.

Last week, the board of India’s largest private sector lender ICICI Bank had ordered an independent probe into allegations of ‘conflict of interest’ and ‘quid pro quo’ in Kochhar’s dealing with certain borrowers.

There are allegations of involvement of Kochhar and her family members in a loan provided to Videocon group on a quid pro quo basis.

It was alleged that Videocon Group pumped money into NuPower Renewables, a firm owned by Deepak Kochhar, husband of Chanda Kochhar.

Last month, markets regulator SEBI had served a notice on Kochhar on dealings of the bank with Videocon Groupand Nupower. The scope of enquiry would be comprehensive and include all relevant matters arising out of and in course of examination of the facts and wherever warranted, use of forensics/email reviews and recordal of statements of relevant personal, the statement had said.

The enquiry, the bank had said, will be conducted by an ‘independent and credible’ person.

The whistle-blower had alleged that the bank’s MD and CEO had not adhered to provisions relating to code of conduct of the bank and legal and regulatory provisions relating to conflict of interest over a period of time and also alleged quid pro quo in the course of Kochhar’s work in dealing with certain customers/borrowers of the bank.

Interestingly in April, the board had expressed full confidence in Kochhar and ruled out any quid pro quo as alleged with regard to certain loan given to Videocon group.

The regulator filing, which came today after close of stock market, further said the enquiry will cover all “connected matters” in the course of investigations to bring the matter to a final close.

First Published: Jun 04, 2018 16:31 IST