ICICI Bank says only 10% exposure to Videocon loans. Praises Chanda Kochhar. But silent on money flow of Rs. 325 crores to husband’s firm

ICICI Press Statement dances all around the primary allegation of a straight bribe from Videocon

The ICICI PR skirts around the primary question of an allegation of a bribe
The ICICI PR skirts around the primary question of an allegation of a bribe

Three days after PGurus reported the probe agencies’ unearthing of ICICI Bank Chief Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar’s firm money trail with the debt-ridden Videocon Group, the bank’s Board came out with a press release providing a clean chit to their lady boss. In a detailed press release, the bank board admits that they provided huge loans to Videocon in 2012, while stating that they were part of the consortium of many banks and ICICI Bank’s exposure is limited only to 10 percent and rest 90 percent is with other banks.

The fact of the matter is the press release does not give an explanation how Rs.325 crores landed in Chanda Kochhar’s husband’s firm from Videocon Group firms during the period when Rs.3250 crore loan was disbursed to Videocon group firms by the bank consortium including ICICI Bank.

In this press release, the ICICI Bank claims that they were part of the controversial disbursement of Rs.3250 crores to Videocon Group and it’s linked other firms. The Bank claims that they were not the lead bank and was only part of the consortium and their exposure was only 10 percent. But the ICICI Bank cleverly hides or did not answer the basic controversy that after disbursing this dubious Rs.3250 crore to Videocon, soon witnessed Rs.325 crore (10% of the loan amount) flow to the ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar’s husband Deepak Kochhar’s firm NuPower Renewable Private Limited.

The controversy is about the money flow from Videocon Group companies to Chanda Kochhar’s husband’s firm, during the period when the loan was disbursed to Videocon in 2012. This was the crux of the eight-page complaint by investor Arvind Gupta in October 2016 to Prime Minister, Finance Minister and all agencies like CBI, RBI and ED, and SFIO.  The details of Arvind Gupta’s complaint is reported in PGurus[1].

The press release also exposes the fact including ICICI Bank and other 20 banks and financial institutions financed around Rs.40,000 crore to Videocon Group’s firms’ project on oil and gas programme. However, the press release of ICICI Bank does not say what is the status of this Rs.40,000 crore loan or advance or credit to the Videocon Group in 2012. Now six years have passed. What is the status of this huge loan?

Instead of answering these basic questions, the ICICI Bank’s Board in its two-page press release spends more time giving a clean chit and repose “full confidence” and “full faith” on its MD & CEO Chanda Kochhar. The detailed press release is published at the end of this article.

The fact of the matter is the press release does not give an explanation how Rs.325 crores landed in Chanda Kochhar’s husband’s firm from Videocon Group firms during the period when Rs.3250 crore loan was disbursed to Videocon group firms by the bank consortium including ICICI Bank.

The question is whether investigating agencies be allowed to go to the bottom of this controversy. We are leaving the matter to the readers and publishing below ICICI Bank’s press release responding to the report of PGurus on the complaint of investor Arvind Gupta1.

ICICI Bank Press Release by Sree Iyer on Scribd

References:

[1] ICICI Bank head Chanda Kochhar and husband on the radar of probe agencies for doubtful loans to debt-ridden Videocon Group? Mar 25, 2018, PGurus.com

Team PGurus

11 COMMENTS

  1. So the logic is if you are part of “Consortium” you have done nothing wrong.The same ICICI never gives retail loan more than 80 to 70 % of the value of a property and keeps all the original documents and mortgage till the loan is repaid. And hands over the cheque to the builder directly and not to the (Debtor) person seeking a loan
    Now how this loan even 10 % was sanctioned without any collateral guarantees? and why it was not paid directly to the sub-vendors of Video”con”?
    People of power have looted helpless citizens all the time and continue to do so even now

  2. It appears the entire ICICI board is corrupt & shamelessly supporting the Ms Kochar. It is well known that Videocon is wholly owned subsidary through back door by Reliance. Reliance has long history of bribing & buying top management people & surviving. This lady is no doubt deeply corrupt & should either resign herself from the position or forcefully removed.

  3. The ICICI bank has been a private bank in the real sense. These type of banks are only meant for some high-end transaction and not for common man. They are all the time interested in deposits only and in no way help the common man in terms of business loans etc. The probe needs to be done as to how 10% of the money of the Loan to Videocon landed up with the husband of the Mrs Kochaar etc. This answer cannot be given by the bank but there has to be a probe or investigation before such allegations are made. But it is for Mrs Kochaar to voluntary clear her name if she an upright person not excluding Mr Kochaar too

  4. The ICICI Bank press release not saying how much is their NPA from Videocon financing and how much is their recovery of loans in 2012. Something is rotten. This clean chit to Chanda Kochhar creates more doubts. Meanwhile, why Rs.40,000cr given to Videocon for gas and oil exploration? Was it a project in India? How much money recovered after the loan of 2012? How much is the NPA?

  5. Have read Pgurus on the expose two days back and also icici banks response and this commentary on the same by pgurus

    My two cents to the discussion and how logic and legal process works
    1. P gurus has exposed based on a certain investor arvind gupta’s compliant and allegation. No proofs of a quid pro quo in the case given by arvind gupta or pgurus This means at the moment these are allegations – allegations on the propriety of the board of icici bank for lending to videocon because of the influence of its present md.
    2 that coincidently a sum of 325 criteria was invested by videocon family member as an investor in renewable co floated by Deepak kochar and therefore it could be a quid pro quo

    Clearly the second point is a case to be defended by nu renewable and videocon family member who invested in nu renewable. It is certainly not for icici bank to speak on what could be legally seen as coincidental and beyond The ambit of the bank
    Therefore from logical standpoint today’s article by pgurus with emphasis that icici bank had not talked about 325 frites looks strange. What should make pgurus think that icici bank, a listed company speak on an individual dhoot family investment in a private company with no fiduciary link to icici bank. ? While pgurus does bring about a lot of expose of national importance this seems to be going on a personal ego trip to keep making allegations without next level of proof
    I am in no way saying that there could have been no wrong doing and would not be surprised to see proof of one. But harping on allegations is the first and easy step. We have too many such cases of purported wrong doing but without proof that can nail it down in the court of law. Karti chidambaram case with plenty of support info which can draw possible links to corrupt dealings is a good example. These are unfortunately not enough in the courts. So pgurus can go the next step if it is sure of the case and push for clear evidence that suggests a quid pro quo. Calls letters and agreements that suggest the same Otherwise this too will be a futile attempt. Same for Adhia and kumawat. Circumstantial evidence and allegations by revenue board exec in itself may not be enough. They are parties who also wanted to have the power. In the power tussle supporting one idea alone may not be enough to nail the case. Clearly gstn has not done well. Exporters not happy etc. But can one adhia or another person by another name can single handedly detail the entire process and no single official can stop it in a govt setup where jobs are guaranteed ?!
    Surely there is plenty of corruption. But here is equal number of case of vendetta politics and character assassination too. Proof alone can identify the truth from allegations. There is need to have a lot more clear proof than circumstantial evidence to win the war against corruption. Otherwise thes news bytes will be excitement and false hopes and nothing beyond that

    • What more proof of quid-pro-quo when wife’s bank gave Rs.3250 cr loan to Videocon and Videocon gave Rs.325 cr to husband’s firm?

      • These are at best circumstantial evidence to make allegations. The fact is that the law will treat them as two independent events and since the investment in the Nu Renewable company is in individual capacity of a dhoot family member, nothing sinister will be seen by courts.. Unless you have “evidences ” to show that there were prior conversations with the said family member on either side before the loan or during the sanctioning process or some internal notes suggest an undue interest, the courts will not bother.. If NPAs for Videocon is there on ICICI bank, it is just another NPA which the board will see in its merit as a private bank and provide for it.. Essentially in a private bank the real burden is hardly by the shareholder but more by the depositor. So the private banks will try to declare NPA as late as possible. No more than 12 Rs of a 100Rs brought in for lending is belonging to shareholder in a bank.. Rest are depositors money.. What needs to be studied is the books of the private company Nu Renewable and see how this 325 cr has been accounted for.. Has it been shown as equity by the dhoot member and if so were shares allocated at right value or was it highly over valued to make the presence only name sake. These alone will prove the quid pro quo.. ICICI bank will not be stupid to record anything that suggest quid pro quo and the lady in subject will be surely smart to keep out of direct intervention in the case.. TOO BIG TO FAIL cases..

  6. Chanda has to be questioned for the poor leadership she has provided to the ICICI group over the last ten years. She has miserably failed all stake holders consistently. As to how she has escaped scrutiny all these years is a mystery

  7. You got one name wrong. Videocon is run by Dhoorths, not Dhoot. Any investigation into this should also probe the Dhoorths first money making machine called Aurocars in Aurangabad, which literally made millions selling Bajaj scooters at a time when India waited months to buy one. And God only knows how many.

    • I agree the Vespa Bajaj was a monopoly for 60 years and the on money was Rs 8000 to 20000 to be shared by all other than customer . East India company left their illegitimate children in the form of local industry

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