Vadodara: The Chanda Kochhar saga dominated the annual general meeting of ICICI Bank here Wednesday, with shareholders seeking clarity on the allegations of impropriety against the MD & CEO who is on an indefinite leave since June apart from demanding action against her.
Chanda Kochhar issue dominates AGM meeting of ICICI Bank
Some shareholders, who spoke at the 24th AGM, also questioned the corporate governance practices and standards at the bank, while some rallied in support saying it is just a phase which shall pass. Kochhar has been away from office following an enquiry initiated under the retired Supreme Court judge BN Srikrishna late May but continues to hold onto her position as the managing director & chief executive, was absent at the AGM.
Many shareholders also spoke against the core issue of sanctioning loans to the Venugopal Dhoot-run Videocon Industries, which is currently facing bankruptcy proceedings. Many shareholders also sought stern action from the bank on any misdoings on the part of Kochhar, while some also called for a restructuring of the top leadership given the allegations and questioned the board for initially backing Kochhar.
In March, on the eve of publishing of a news report alleging improprieties and lack of disclosure against Kochhar, the board backed her in a public statement and said loans to Videocon was part of a consortium and ICICI Bank was not the lead banker.
However, more reports came out showing Kochhar's immediate family members, including her husband Deepak and his brother, had allegedly benefitted from ICICI Bank's borrowers like Videocon and also the Ruias-promoted Essar group.