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I do not think ICICI Bank is in a mess, says interim chairman

GC Chaturvedi, Interim Chairman, ICICI Bank, tells ET Now that incidents keep happening but one has to learn lessons from that, rectify and move ahead.Edited excerpts: Can you tell us what exactly being ICICI Bank’s interim chairman means to you? It is too early for me to make any comment. Let me first understand things but no doubt ICICI has been a pioneer bank and so it is a pleasure for me to be on the board. I had experience of being a government nominee on some of the banks boards of public sector banks. You must have read what media has been reporting and once you have accepted your responsibility, you must have some understanding of what the issues are? Those issues are being looked into already. Let the result come and then only it would be proper for anybody to make any comment on that. I will go by what is there in the public information that SEBI has already come out with, No, no, I do not know, I do not have to make any comment on public information because that information is not an authentic one. I will go by what the ICICI Board has been indicating. I am not going by anything which is speculative. I have no knowledge really. I am not purvey to that information at all. What would be the first thing which you would like to suggest to the board now that you are part of the board? What would you like to suggest? The board has to run and corporate governance things have to be observed, basically that is all I can say in general. In general, do you think there is a corporate governance issue with ICICI Bank? All corporate bodies have to follow good corporate governance and that our regulators has been insisting upon which we have to follow. Since you are a government nominee, are there any instructions for you? No, no I am not a government nominee not at all. I am an independent, not a government nominee. I understand corrected on that. But when we talked to a couple of senior bureaucrats and ex-bankers and current bankers, they were of the view that it is a messy situation for ICICI Bank. They do not want to commit to any kind of executive and non-executive role. You have committed yourself to an important role. I am sure you must have done some thinking as to what you would like to achieve and where you would like to implement some changes? I have not gone into such details yet and I do not think the bank is in a mess. Incidents keep happening but basically one has to learn lessons from that, rectify and move ahead. We will be able to do that. Are you nervous or are you excited about accepting this new challenge? No not at all. Why should I be nervous? Are you excited about accepting this new challenge? It is a challenge. So definitely I am looking forward to see things too. Any conversation with LIC? No conversation at all. When you say you are excited, what exactly are you excited about? It is pleasure to be there and that is all I can say at this juncture. What is there in Mr Chaturvedi’s to do list for ICICI Bank? It is too early for me to chalk out action plans… So when would you be joining on the board officially? I have not in fact had the occasion of seeing anything about the bank except for the news which keeps appearing. It will be unfair on my part to make any comments on it. What is your overall view as well and your experience of the banking sector as a whole? What is your overall assessment so far of overall NPAs, the situation in terms of credit growth for the sector? Do not ask me to make any comment on the global issues. I had been in the ministry, department of financial service for five years and I had served on the board of some of the public sector banks. I hope the experience here turns out to be equally pleasant in the sense I had been on the board of Canara Bank, Bank of Baroda and IDBI. In the economy, things keep changing. So let us hope that things turn out for better.

Source: ET

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