Private lender ICICI Bank has been making headlines for quite some time over favouritism allegations against its CEO Chandra Kochhar. While the bank has been trying to make amends since the appointment of Sandeep Bakhshi as its whole time director and chief operating officer, it looks like ICICI is really feeling the heat of the probe launched by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
In tune, India's second largest private lender is said to be reviewing all the loans it processed in the last five years and plans to revamp its processes and correct all the loopholes. The bank has asked its loan department to go through all the loans processed, detail the valuations of the securities, and make a record of all the bad loans, reported Livemint.
Sources told the daily that the bank's loan divisions have been asked to prepare detailed reports on the valuations of the securities and compute if the valuations were increased in any way. That's not all, the divisions have also been asked to make a record of all the officials who valued the assets, who appointed these valuers and charges paid to them.
"After the recent board-level changes, the top management is planning to review the credit disbursal processes followed by the bank so far and take corrective actions. The exercise was initiated following the regulatory probes into the bank's dealings," another source added.
The loan divisions have even been given deadlines to turn in these reports and with this ICICI Bank intends to maintain clean and accurate books to avoid any controversy that might hit the company in the future. "The objective is to avoid future controversies regarding the bank's loan disbursal processes and strengthen corporate governance practices," the source told LiveMint.
Meanwhile, the company is facing some serious heat from the US SEC especially after it was told that the Securities and Exchange Board of India and ICICI Bank had inaccurately processed at least 31 loans between 2008 and 2016.
Amid the probe, company CEO Kochhar has also gone on a leave after allegations of conflicts of interest against her.
As per the complaint made against her, Kochhar played a role in the irregularities in the sanctioning of a multi-crore loan to the Videocon group. The whistleblower has said that under Kochhar, ICICI Bank sanctioned a loan of Rs 3,250 crore to the Videocon Group.
Later in 2016, investor Arvind Gupta also alleged that the loans to Videocon were a clear case of conflict of interest.
Since then Bakhshi has been at the helm of affairs at ICICI. A mechanical engineer from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, he also has a post-graduate degree in management from Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur.
He joined the erstwhile ICICI Ltd in 1986 and looked after the corporate clients for the Northern and Eastern regions of ICICI Limited. He then joined ICICI Lombard in 2002 shouldering responsibilities such as business development, project appraisals, project monitoring and business restructuring.
He also headed ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co. Ltd for two years between March 2007 and April 2009. Bakhshi has been the Managing Director & CEO of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company since August 1, 2010.
He has worked in various business within the ICICI brand and has an experience of leading both corporate and retail businesses.