Chanda Kochhar quits ICICI Bank

Chanda Kochhar quits ICICI Bank

Chanda Kochhar (REUTERS File Photo)

Chanda Kochhar on Thursday quit as the MD and CEO of ICICI Bank after remaining at the helm for nine years in the midst of a probe against her in sanctioning of Rs 3,250 crore loan to Videocon Group in 2012.

Kochhar, who had gone on leave in May this year, pending a CBI inquiry, moved a plea for her early retirement to the bank's Board, which was immediately accepted ending her three-decade association with the largest private sector lender in the country with whom she began her career in 1984.

The 56-year old banker will also demit the Board of the subsidiaries of the bank. Her current term at the bank was to end in March 2019.

The CBI is currently probing the case pertaining to the loan to Videocon and the business alliances between its promoter Venugopal Dhoot and her husband Deepak Kochhar. The charge is that Dhoot had invested in a power company promoted by Deepak Kochhar but Chanda Kochhar did not recuse herself or disclose this when a loan was granted by ICICI Bank to Videocon.

In the initial days of the probe, which began in March this year, Chanda Kochhar enjoyed full support of the Board but subsequently that too initiated an inquiry against her after Kochhar's family's involvement resurfaced in many more cases including Essar group shell company of the Ruias.

Subsequently, Kochhar was also issued a notice by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) over alleged non-compliance of the listing agreement in the loan to Videocon.

Kochhar, who had been featured in 'The World's 100 Most Powerful Women' list by Forbes International for seven consecutive years, came under the lens of Income-Tax authorities for the purchase of the south Mumbai flat where the couple are currently residing.

A Padma Bhushan awardee in 2011, Kochhar fell from the grace after a complaint by an anonymous whistle-blower alleged that she, her husband and their family had benefitted from dealings with the Videocon Group.

ICICI Bank appointed Sandeep Bakhshi as chief executive for a five-year term after Kochhar's resignation.

The largest private sector bank, which was relegated to the second place after Kochhar went on leave four months ago, on Thursday gained 4% and added more than Rs 8,051 crore to its market valuation after the news of her quitting the bank.