The Managing Director and CEO of ICICI Bank, Chanda Kochhar had quit her job and relieved herself from the Board of Directors of the bank’s subsidiaries, according to a statement issued by the bank. Further, the statement said the ongoing inquiry against her will not have any bearing by her relinquishing the office.
In a filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange, the Board said that it had accepted her request to obtain early retirement with immediate effect. The enquiry, instituted by the Board will not be impacted by the resignation of Chanda Kochhar and certain benefits will be subject to the outcome of the probe.
She will also relinquish office from the Board of Directors of ICICI Bank’s subsidiaries. What is more, the Board is replacing Chanda Kochhar by Sandeep Bakshi as Managing Director and CEO for a period of five years. Bakshi will serve until October 3, 2023 if the requisite regulatory approvals come. Bakshi will be enjoying the same remuneration and other terms and conditions of his appointment like that of his predecessor.
Ever since the bank decided to look into the allegations of conflict of interest and quid pro quo against Chanda Kochhar while dealing with few borrowers of the bank that includes the Videocon Group, she had proceeded on leave. An independent probe panel, led by former Supreme Court Judge, BN Srikrishna is investigating the allegations against Chanda Kochhar.
It might be recalled that the Indian Express had reported as early as March 29, 2018 that the Videocon Group promoter, Venugopal Dhoot provided crores of rupees to NuPower Renewables Private Limited (NRPL), an entity the entrepreneur had established with Chanda Kochhar’s husband, Deepak Kochhar and two relatives six months after the Videocon Group received Rs.3,250 crore as loan from ICICI Bank in 2012. Furthermore, Dhoot transferred proprietorship of the company to a trust owned by Deepak Kochchar for Rs.9 lakh, six months after he received the loan from ICICI Bank, said the report and added that a whopping 86% of the Rs.3,250 crore loan (Rs.2,810 crore) remained unpaid. Also, the Videocon account wa declared as NPA in 2017. According to ICICI Bank, MD Mallya, an Independent Director had also quit the Board citing health reasons. The Income Tax sleuths are also investigating the purchase of an apartment in Mumbai, where the Kochchhars live right now.
Chanda Kochhar is known for her stellar role she played in shaping the retail banking sector in India, noted the report. She joined ICICI Limited in 1984 and was instrumental in establishing ICICI Bank during the 1990s. She served as head of infrastructure finance and corporate banking business during the period.During 2006-07, Kochhar led the Bank’s corporate and international banking businesses. Between 2007 and 2009, she was elevated to the position of Joint Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer of the company. In 2009, she became Managing Director and CEO of the company. She oversees the Bank’s operations in India and abroad. She also chairs the boards of most of the Bank’s principal subsidiaries. Chanda Kochhar was conferred with the Padma Bhushan in 2011, citing ENS, the report added.