All you need to know about ICICI Bank COO Sandeep Bakhshi

Andrew Cummings
June 19, 2018

Sandeep Bakhshi, who is the chief of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, has been appointed Wholetime Director and Chief Operating Officer of ICICI Bank.

Kotak Securities says it sees the development as an important step to address a key concern that has been a headwind to the stock in recent months. Aggressive consortium loans, often initiated by non-state-owned banks like ICICI and Standard Chartered Plc, have drawn undercapitalized state-run peers with poor underwriting standards into a $210 billion slaughterhouse of stressed debt. "During her period of leave, the COO will report to the Board", it added.

Despite being affordable, ICICI stock could continue to lag peers in the near term given the uncertainty around top management, Morgan Stanley says. The bank on its part has clarified that Chanda Kochhar was part of the credit committee meeting which evaluated the Videocon loan in 2012. The ICICI Bank's share price, which had gained 3.6 per cent on Monday, declined by Rs 1.6 to Rs 291 on Tuesday. The media circulated the report stating that Kochhar along with her family members is involved in a loan provided to Videocon group on quid pro quo basis.

The bank's board is also set to meet today (June 18) to decide Kochhar's fate, according to a Bloomberg report.

The board had, at that time in March-end, told the stock exchanges in a notice that it came "to the conclusion that there is no question of any quid pro quo/nepotism/conflict of interest as is being alleged in various rumours". Central Bureau of Investigation and income tax department have also been investigating the matter independently.

On April 05, the government changes its nominee on ICICI Bank's board.

The market had been anticipating the decision on Kochhar. Bakhshi also served as Deputy Managing Director of ICICI Bank and MD & CEO of ICICI Lombard General Insurance. The lender and Kochhar have denied all allegation and claims they are clean.

The bank on May 30 announced that its Board has made a decision 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.

On a closer look, CEO Chanda Kochhar has been on annual leave after the announcement of fourth quarterly results.

The reshuffle comes after the bank named retired Supreme Court judge, Justice BN Srikrishna, as the head of its internal probe into complaints against Kochhar by an anonymous whistleblower.

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