ICICI Bank says no favour done to Videocon, answered regulator's queries

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Did ICICI Bank extend favours to the Videocon group and its chairman Venugopal Dhoot by giving the group an easy loan? ICICI Bank on Thursday said it had responded satisfactorily to queries from regulators over the alleged favours. Dhoot also denied any impropriety in its transactions with NuPower Renewables.

The bank’s Chairman M K Sharma said, “There have also been questions raised as to whether the regulators reached out to us with queries. I would like to clearly state that we always satisfactorily reply to questions of regulators.” ICICI Bank, however, did not specifically name any regulator.

The bank also declined to elaborate on the details of its responses. “This is privileged information between the regulators and the company, and hence, we cannot share any specific information about this,” Sharma added.  

The bank has been accused of nepotism and quid pro quo in extending credit to the Videocon group and its associate, NuPower Renewables.

On Wednesday, the ICICI Bank board had come out in support of its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Chanda Kochhar, denying reports of her favouring Videocon and NuPower Renewables, whose founder and CEO is Kochhar’s husband.

The bank also clarified that none of NuPower Renewables’s investors were borrowers of ICICI Bank.

Videocon Chairman Dhoot said, “The Videocon group has not given any loan to any company or individual related to Kochhar. We exited investments in NuPower within 20 days in January 2009. We also sold our shares in Supreme Energy in 2010.”

He added since then Videocon had no links with the two companies. “We have not received any communication from any government investigating agencies with regard to these transactions. ICICI Bank has also not asked any questions,” he said, adding Videocon’s investment in NuPower Renewables was only about Rs 50,000.

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