ICICI Bank's chief executive officer Chanda Kochhar listens to a speaker at a news conference in Mumbai.(Reuters File Photo)
ICICI Bank's chief executive officer Chanda Kochhar listens to a speaker at a news conference in Mumbai.(Reuters File Photo)

‘Malicious rumours’: ICICI Bank backs CEO Chanda Kochhar over nepotism claims

Multiple reports circulated in online blogs and social media in India last week, alluding to alleged conflict of interest in ICICI’s lending to Videocon, alleging that the conglomerate was favoured by the bank’s CEO.
PTI, Mumbai | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON MAR 29, 2018 10:52 AM IST

ICICI Bank board has said it had full faith in its managing director and CEO Chanda Kochhar and described as “malicious rumours” reports of wrongdoing in granting loans to the Videocon group.

The board also reviewed the bank’s internal processes for credit approval and found them robust, the private sector lender said in a statement on Thursday.

“The board has full confidence and reposes full faith in the bank’s MD and CEO Ms Chanda Kochhar,” the statement said, adding rumours were being spread to malign the bank and its top management.

Reports in a section of media have alleged involvement of Kochhar and her family members in a loan provided to Venugopal Dhoot’s Videocon group on quid pro quo basis.

It was also pointed out that a complaint was forwarded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others.

Concerns were also raised about transactions of the Videocon group and NUPower Renewables, a company operated by Kochhar’s husband Deepak.

“The board has come to the conclusion that there is no question of any quid pro quo/ nepotism/ conflict of interest as is being alleged in various rumours,” the bank said.

On loans to the Videocon group, it said the bank’s exposure was part of a syndicated consortium arrangement.

“ICICI Bank was not the lead bank for this consortium and the bank only sanctioned its share of facilities aggregating approximately Rs 3,250 crore which was less than 10 per cent of the total consortium facility in April 2012,” it added.

It further said similar rumours surfaced in mid-2016 and the bank had appropriately responded to them.

As the same rumours surfaced again, the board reviewed the internal processes and also the details of the exposure to the Videocon group, it said, adding, “It can be concluded that there are adequate checks and balances in loan appraisal, rating and approval processes within the bank, both from the control as well as from a governance perspective.”

The bank clarified that none of the investors of NuPower Renewables were borrowers of ICICI Bank.

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