ICICI Bank Ltd. has said it has not received any communication from the Reserve Bank with regard to allegations of impropriety faced by its managing director and chief executive Chanda Kochhar.
“No communication to us, that is what we can say now,” executive director NS Kannan told analysts over the customary post-earnings call on Monday, transcripts of which were posted on its website by the bank this evening. He was replying to a specific question on whether there has been some communication from the regulator about the conflict of interest issue as reported in the media.
The ICICI Bank board had issued statements supporting Kochhar after reports of potential conflict of interest and a lack of disclosures. The private lender had given loans worth Rs 3,250 crore to the Videocon Group, whose chairman Venugopal Dhoot co-founded a separate company NuPower Renewables with Deepak Kocchar, the spouse of ICICI Bank’s Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Chanda Kocchar. There was some possible quid pro quo in the grant of loans to the group, a whistleblower letter had alleged.
The issue is being investigated by multiple agencies including a filing of a preliminary 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.