Lok Ranjan, the nominee director and joint secretary in the finance ministry, has skipped the bank’s board meetings on Monday and Tuesday. Photo: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint
Lok Ranjan, the nominee director and joint secretary in the finance ministry, has skipped the bank’s board meetings on Monday and Tuesday. Photo: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint

Govt nominee on ICICI Bank board may skip meetings till probe ends

The govt's nominee director on the board of ICICI Bank is unlikely to attend board meetings till agencies come out with their findings on conflict of interest allegations involving the lender's chief Chanda Kochhar

New Delhi: The government’s nominee director on the board of ICICI Bank is unlikely to attend board meetings till agencies come out with their findings on conflict of interest allegations involving the lender’s chief Chanda Kochhar, a person familiar with the matter said.

Lok Ranjan, the nominee director and joint secretary in the finance ministry, has skipped the bank’s board meetings on Monday and Tuesday.

“If government nominee attends the board meet, then it would be like endorsing board’s view. (The) government thinks that its view can be overruled (by other members of the board) as it (government) is a minority shareholder," the person cited above said.

The official was responding to a query on why Ranjan skipped crucial board meetings of ICICI Bank. On Monday, the board meeting was mainly to approve the bank’s latest quarterly and annual financial results.

Tuesday’s board meet was to discuss strategy, budget and planning for 2018-19. Another person said that it would be prudent for the nominee director to attend board meeting only after the government receives reports from various agencies that are looking into the allegations.

About the government’s stance on the allegations involving ICICI Bank and its CEO Chanda Kochhar and her family members with regard to certain loans, the sources said the government’s view would be clear only after going through reports from regulatory and investigative agencies. There are series of allegations of impropriety at ICICI Bank with respect to extending loans to some companies and enjoying reciprocal benefits.

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