ICICI rapped on treatment of whistle-blower

ICICI rapped on treatment of whistle-blower

Mumbai: The Employment Tribunals in London accused ICICI Bank Ltd’s UK subsidiary of mistreating its employee S. Kapoor by transferring him to India for being a whistle-blower.

Kapoor claimed the bank tried to repatriate him to India against his wishes after it was confirmed that he had informed the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) about alleged irregularities. The Financial Times first reported the findings on Monday. Mint is in possession of the ruling made on 24 November.

“It is our conclusion that by suddenly closing down the PTG (proprietary trading group) on 8 April 2009 and informing the claimant (Kapoor) on that day that he was being transferred back to India, the respondent (ICICI Bank UK Plc) subjected him to detriment, and that it did so because of the protected disclosures that he had made internally and, more importantly, to the FSA," the judgement said.

ICICI Bank said there was no link between the two.

“The case is subjudice and yet to reach its final conclusion. ICICI Bank has a well defined whistle-blowing policy and there has not been a single instance in the past of any identity compromises under the policy," the bank’s spokesperson said.

“The ICICI Bank UK PLC made a business decision to close the entire Proprietary Trading Group due to changed market conditions and repatriate this particular employee to his employer ICICI Bank Limited India where he was offered alternative employment," he added.

The bank said it wasn’t in breach of rules.

“At all times we acted within the terms of the employee’s contract," it said.