The ICICI Bank on Monday clarified it had not received any official communication regarding the United States markets regulator’s investigation into allegations of impropriety against Chief Executive Officer Chanda Kocchar.
Last week, media reports had said that the the bank, Kochhar and her family members were under the scanner of the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Kochhar is facing allegations of conflict of interest in the Rs 3,250-crore Videocon loan case.
“As a large and internationally active bank with operations and listing of its equity and debt instruments in multiple jurisdictions, the bank is regularly engaged with regulators, including the US SEC, on a range of matters,” ICICI said in a regulatory filing. “However, the bank has so far not received any specific communication from the US SEC in relation to the allegations in respect of the Managing Director and CEO of the bank.”
Questions have been raised over a Rs 3,250-crore loan the bank sanctioned to the Videocon Group in 2012. Videocon Group CEO Venugopal Dhoot allegedly provided crores of rupees to NuPower Renewables, which was founded by Kochhar’s husband, six months after receiving the loan. The loan was part of the Rs 40,000-crore loan that Videocon secured from a consortium of 20 banks.
In March, the Central Bureau of Investigation initiated a preliminary inquiry to determine whether the bank had violated any law in sanctioning the loan.
The board had then backed Kochhar, claiming that “malicious and unfounded rumours” were being spread to “malign the bank”. However, it announced the inquiry on May 30 after an anonymous whistleblower levelled allegations against Kochhar. An “independent and credible person” would conduct the inquiry, the board added in its regulatory filings.