India’s ICICI Bank retains faith in controversial CEO
The bank's board said that until police come up with evidence of wrongdoing they will not set up an inquiry
While the reputation of the chief of India’s largest private sector bank may be under a cloud, with agencies investigating allegations of nepotism and conflict of interest, the bank’s board has stated its confidence in their Chief Executive Officer.
The board has defended CEO and Managing Director Chanda Kochhar and rejected demands for an external audit to see if correct processes were followed when extending loans to Videocon Industries, reports the Economic Times.
There have been allegations of corruption and nepotism related
to loans given by the ICICI Bank to the Videocon Group, a consumer
electronics and oil and gas exploration company, which Chanda’s
husband Deepak Kochhar had a business partnership with.
The other allegations leveled at the CEO are about a conflict of interest. Avista Advisory, run by Chanda’s brother-in-law Rajiv Kochhar, had also advised clients of ICICI Bank.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a preliminary inquiry against Kochhar’s husband and issued look out circulars against him, as well as questioned her brother-in-law half-a-dozen times.
In India a look out circular letter is issued by authorities to help police catch absconding criminals and stop them from crossing borders.
Top ICICI Bank executives said that until the CBI came up with clear
evidence of the CEO’s involvement, the board would not look into
setting up an external inquiry, the daily added.