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ICICI Bank seeks RBI approval to appoint MD Mallya as chairman

ICICI Bank has allegedly sought the Reserve Bank’s (RBI) approval to appoint independent director MD Mallya as next chairman.

ICICI Bank initiated the process of appointment of a non-executive chairman as the term of incumbent MK Sharma will end on 30 June.

Citing an official familiar with the development, a Mint report said that Mallya’s name was sent to the central bank in the first week of June. However, the central bank has not responded to the private sector bank’s proposal.

“The majority of the board is in favour of Mallya as the chairman. The RBI decision has to concur with board’s proposal in such matters. (Still) the bank is yet to hear from RBI,” an unnamed source was quoted as saying by the Mint.

Mallya was appointed to the ICICI Bank board as an independent director on 29 May. Mallya prior to joining Bank of Baroda, was the CMD of the Bank of Maharashtra, according to ICICI Bank’s website.

The other independent directors at the bank are Uday Chitale, Dileep Choksi, Neelam Dhawan, Radhakrishnan Nair, VK Sharma (the LIC chairman), and Lok Ranjan (the government nominee director).

In May, the senior bureaucrat Ranjan was transferred to the personal ministry. However, the finance ministry said Ranjan would continue to serve on the board of ICICI Bank as independent director despite his transfer.

He was transferred a month after he was appointed on the board of the bank, whose MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar is facing allegations of conflict of interest in the sanctioning of a Rs 3,250 crore ICICI loan to the Videocon group.

The CBI has registered a preliminary enquiry against Videocon founder Venugopal Dhoot, Chanda’s husband Deepak Kochhar, and unidentified others.

The agency has questioned a few ICICI Bank officials to determine alleged wrongdoing in the sanctioning of the aforesaid loan.

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