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ICICI Bank could appoint Sandeep Bakhshi as interim chief this week

ICICI Bank could allegedly appoint Sandeep Bakhshi as the CEO of the bank’s life insurance arm, as the interim chief of the bank.

Bakhshi could be appointed the interim chief of the bank as early as this week. He will assume Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Chanda Kochhar’s official duties, who is on her annual leave.

“Someone from the bank may also move to ICICI Prudential Life to head it in the interim. But some Board members also felt that an interim CEO could be a bit destabilising for the institution,’’ an unnamed source close to the development was quoted.

The move follows the news of former Supreme Court judge BN Srikrishna accepting the bank’s request to preside over an investigation that will look into allegations that Kochhar did not adhere to provisions relating to the bank’s “code of conduct”.

Srikrishna will also examine whether Chanda Kochhar was involved in quid pro quo transactions with a few certain borrowers. Last week, the bank’s Chairman MK Sharma wrote to Board members asking them whether Kochhar should be asked to go on indefinite leave until the Srikrishna internal enquiry is concluded.

On 1 June, the bank stated that Kochhar had gone on a planned annual leave, and not on forced leave as reported by the media.

So far, the allegations have questioned the involvement of Kochhar and her family members in a loan provided to the Videocon Group, supposedly on a quid pro quo basis. It has been alleged that Videocon pumped money into NuPower Renewables, a firm owned by Chanda’s husband Deepak Kochhar.

The RBI, the CBI and markets regulator SEBI is also looking into the matter.

Besides, the controversy has come under the scanner of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as ICICI Bank is listed in the US.

Sebi has already issued show-cause notices to ICICI Bank and to Kochhar as part of its probe.

Also read:  CBI documents a PE against Deepak Kochhar, ICICI CEO Chanda Kochhar’s husband and Venugopal Dhoot of Videocon

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