Mumbai, June 1 (IANS) Private sector banking major ICICI Bank on Friday said that the company’s MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar has not been asked to go on “leave”.
The lender’s clarification came after a media report said that Kochhar has been asked to go on a leave.
An ICICI Bank Spokesperson on Friday said: “This is with regards to a news article which appeared in Mint today under the headline ‘ICICI Probe: Kochhar asked to go on leave’ The ICICI Bank Board denies having asked Ms. Chanda Kochhar to go on leave.”
“She is on her annual leave which was planned in advance. Further, the Board denies that it has appointed any search committee to find her successor.”
Interestingly, the company on May 30 announced that its Board has decided to institute a “comprehensive enquiry” to look into an anonymous whistle blower’s complaint alleging that Kochhar had not adhered to provisions relating to “code of conduct” of the bank.
Besides, the bank in a regulatory filing on last Wednesday said the scope of enquiry would be comprehensive and include all relevant matters arising out of and in the course of examination of the facts and wherever warranted, “use of forensic/email reviews and recordal of statement of relevant personnel, etc.”
The enquiry would also cover all connected matters in the course of the investigation to bring the matter to a final close.
“In keeping with the Whistle Blower Policy of the bank, Board has mandated its audit committee to take all further actions in the matter to operationalise this decision — including in particular, appointment if an independent and credible person as Head of the Enquiry, determining the terms of reference of the Enquiry, the period which will be covered by the Enquiry,” the filing said.
“The Audit Committee will also, in consultation with the Head of the Enquiry, make arrangements to assist him with independent legal and other professional support as may be required.”
In a separate development, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had sought responses from the company and Kochhar on alleged non-compliance of the “erstwhile ‘Listing Agreement’ and the ‘Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015′”.
According to a BSE filing, the bank said that SEBI sought the reply via a notice issued to the private lender and its MD and CEO on May 24.
As per the securities market regulator’s LODR regulations, all listed entities are mandated to immediately disclose relevant and important information to stock exchanges.
The notice by SEBI had been issued “based on information furnished by the bank or its MD and CEO to diverse queries made by SEBI concerning dealings between the bank and Videocon Group and certain dealings allegedly between Videocon Group and Nupower, an entity in which Deepak Kochhar spouse of MD and CEO has economic interests,” the bank said.