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ICICI Board Avoids Discussion On Loan Controversy Involving CEO Chanda Kochhar

File Picture Courtesy : The Indian Express
File Picture Courtesy : The Indian Express

Despite many allegations of conflicts of interest being faced by managing director and chief executive Chanda Kochhar, the ICICI Bank board did not discuss the controversy .

“Today, there was no discussion at all on this issue. The board has already clarified its stance,” Kochhar said, when asked whether the controversial lending to the Videocon Group was discussed at the board meeting.

Asked about the silence maintained by her as well as the bank as more details get reported about the alleged misdoings, Kochhar referred to the March 28 statement from the board which stood firmly behind her.

“The board has made its stance very clear and we do not have anything more to add,” Kochhar, who was speaking after the announcement of the bank’s full-year results, said.

“(We are) talking of Q4 results now and we should focus on that. And I think the board has already clarified,” she added.

The bank on Monday reported a 50 per cent plunge in standalone net at Rs 1,020 crore for the march quarter as provisions jumped threefold.

It can be noted that the ICICI Bank board had come out with a statement supporting Kochhar on the eve of the news getting out in the media. This was followed by a slew of reports of more alleged wrongdoings and also of there being a division within the board as well.

Kochhar today confirmed that government nominee Lok Ranjan, a joint secretary in the department of financial services, was not able to attend the board meeting.

“(We are) talking of Q4 results now and we should focus on that. And I think the board has already clarified,” she added.

The bank had earlier reported a 50 per cent plunge in standalone net at Rs 1,020 crore for the march quarter as provisions jumped threefold.

It can be noted that the ICICI Bank board had come out with a statement supporting Kochhar on the eve of the news getting out in the media. This was followed by a slew of reports of more alleged wrongdoings and also of there being a division within the board as well.

Kochhar today confirmed that government nominee Lok Ranjan, a joint secretary in the department of financial services, was not able to attend the board meeting.

It is alleged that family members Kochhar, including her husband Deepak Kochhar, got financial favours from the borrowers against the loans sanctioned by the bank.

The issue is being investigated by multiple agencies including a filing of a priliminary enquiry by the CBI, and probes by the Income Tax Department and the ED.

Former Sebi chief M Damodaran had said one option for Kochhar was to step down till the investigation was over.

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