ICICI Bank CEO and MD Chanda Kochhar goes on leave till the completion of probe alleging against her in the charges of favouritism and conflict of interest, said by the Bank on Monday. Sandeep Bakhshi, group insurance head has been appointed as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the five years.
The Bank released a statement where they said, “In line with the highest levels of governance and corporate standards, Ms Chanda Kochhar has decided to go on leave till the completion of the enquiry as announced on May 30, 2018. The board has noted and accepted this. During her period of leave, the COO will report to the board”.
Mr Bakhshi will took to the office from June 19, 2018 and he will handle all the businesses and corporate functions of the Bank. The executive directors and executive management on the Board of the bank will report to him in the absence of Kochhar.
Besides Sandeep Bakhshi, another reshuffle includes the appointment of the executive director N.S Kannan as the Chief Executive of the ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company. The latest rearrangement appears to be temporary to carry forward the enquiry without any hinderance.
The ICICI Board had formed an independent external probe panel headed by the retired Supreme Court judge BN Srikrishna to probe for the allegation against the MD Chanda Kochhar for violating the bank’s code of conduct.
Chanda Kochhar is engulfed related to the Rs 3,250 crore loan granted the Videocon Group in 2012 who had an investment in NuPower Renewables founder by the Chanda Kochhar’s husband. Besides her husband, other family members were also benefitted from these dealings.
However, Bank had rejected all the allegations of nepotism and restored full-faith in the MD and CEO but after more accusations surfaced against Kochhar, ICICI board constituted a ‘comprehensive enquiry’ to look into the matter on May 30.