The probe, which was in connection to the ICICI-Videocon loan case, found that Chanda Kochhar failed to deal with conflict of interest by not making voluntary disclosures that she should have.
An internal probe conducted by the ICICI Bank has faulted its former CEO and managing director Chanda Kochhar for violating the bank's code of conduct. The probe, which was in connection to the ICICI-Videocon loan case, found that Chanda Kochhar failed to deal with conflict of interest by not making voluntary disclosures that she should have.
Following the receipt of the probe report, the ICICI Bank also took a surprising step of retrospectively sacking Chanda Kochhar. Last year, following the allegations against her, Chanda Kochhar had voluntary stepped down from her posts.
However, the ICICI Bank has now decided to treat that "separation" as "termination for cause" and has asked Chanda Kochhar to return all bonuses paid between April 2009 and March 2018.
The probe, which was led by Justice B N Srikrishna, was in relation to the ICICI-Videocon loan case. An activist-shareholder had alleged that the ICICI Bank lent Rs 3,250 crore to Venugopal Dhoot's Videocon Group. Dhoot in turn allegedly invested Rs 64 crore in a company operated by Chanda Kochhar's husband, Deepak Kochhar.
The allegation was essentially of a quid pro quo -- that Chanda Kochhar got her bank to lend money to Videocon Group around the same time Venugopal Dhoot invested in Deepak Kochhar company.
Ms Chanda Kochhar was in violation of the ICICI Bank Code of Conduct, its framework for dealing with conflict of interest and fiduciary duties, and in terms of applicable Indian laws, rules and regulations- ICICI Bank statement
Following the allegations, Chanda Kochhar went on long leave as ICICI Bank began an internal probe into her conduct. Later, she stepped from the post of ICICI Bank chief operating officer and managing director.
The ICICI Bank's internal probe has faulted Chanda Kochhar for "of ineffectively dealing with conflict of interest".
"Ms Chanda Kochhar was in violation of the ICICI Bank Code of Conduct, its framework for dealing with conflict of interest and fiduciary duties, and in terms of applicable Indian laws, rules and regulations," the probe report said, according to a press statement put out by ICICI Bank.
The probe also said Chanda Kochhar displayed a "lack of diligence" in making "annual disclosures" that are required both by ICICI Bank's internal rules and by Indian laws.
The probe also said Chanda Kocchar's approach to such disclosures and avoidance of conflict rendered the ICICI Bank's processes "ineffective".
What is the ICICI-Videocon loan case?
- Last year, a shareholder alleged that Chanda Kochhar, the wife of Deepak Kochhar, got ICICI Bank to grant a loan of Rs 3,250 crore to Venugopal Dhoot's Videocon Group
- The loan was granted during the time when Chanda Kochhar was the managing director and chief operating officer of the ICICI Bank
- The shareholder further alleged that the loan was part of a quid pro quo arragement under which Venugopal Dhoot invested Rs 64 crore in Chanda Kochhar's husband's NuPower Renewables
Earlier this month, the Central Bureau of Investigation registered a First Information Report (FIR) in the ICICI-Videocon loan case. The FIR named Chanda Kochhar, Deepak Kochhar and Venugopal Dhoot.
Now, Chanda Kochhar faces more heat with ICICI Bank's internal probe faulting her and saying that she did not follow the code of conduct.