Controversy-hit private lender ICICI Bank has replied to security market regulator SEBI’s show cause notice on the issue related to allegations of impropriety levelled against its MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar.
In addition, the bank has sought to settle the case with SEBI through the regulator’s consent mechanism.
The stock market regulator provides for an out-of-the-court settlement procedure to settle cases — consent mechanism — which does not warrant admission or denial of the alleged wrongdoing.
Answering questions on the issue after SEBI’s annual board meet, the regulator’s Chief Ajay Tyagi said: “On the ICICI (issue), to my information some reply has come from the bank and the earlier CEO (Kochhar), so, we will examine that…”
On the plea for settlement through consent mechanism, Tyagi claimed ignorance. However, another SEBI official present at the conference confirmed the request.
Earlier, a show cause notice was issued to ICICI Bank and its MD and CEO Kochhar regarding conflict of interest in lending to Videocon Group, which has had business tie-ups with her husband Deepak Kochhar.
Currently, former Supreme Court judge B.N. Srikrishna (Retd) is heading an independent enquiry into the allegations.
The bank on May 30 announced that its Board has decided to institute a “comprehensive enquiry” to look into an anonymous whistleblower’s complaint alleging that Kochhar had not adhered to provisions relating to “code of conduct” of the bank.
In June, Kochhar decided to proceed on leave.
Thereafter, Sandeep Bakhshi was appointed as the wholetime Director and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the bank.