Sebi probes alleged corporate governance breaches at ICICI Bank

Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has initiated a probe into alleged corporate governance breaches at ICICI Bank, according to a report by ETNow.

The regulator has asked for key documents on all board decisions pertaining to Videocon Group, the report added. Sebi also seeks to know stance of independent directors on decisions link to the debt-laden group.

“Prima facie, Sebi suspects violation of listing agreement disclosures by Chanda Kochhar,” ET Now report said.

Global ratings agency Fitch on Monday said the investigation into allegations that ICICI Bank extended a loan with a potential conflict of interest raises questions over the lenders governance and creates reputational risks.

Other regulatory sanctions are also possible, depending on the outcome of the investigation, Fitch Ratings said in a note.

“The presence of the bank's CEO on this credit committee – and the bank's reluctance to support an independent probe – have, in our opinion, created doubts over the strength of its corporate governance practices,” the ratings agency said.

ICICI Bank has been mired in controversy after it was revealed that it lent Rs 3,250 crore to Videocon Group, whose promoter Venugopal Dhoot is reported to have links with Deepak Kochhar, the husband of the bank's CEO Chanda Kochhar.

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