SEC Questions India’s ICICI Over Accounting Practices


The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is reportedly seeking information from India’s ICICI Bank on its accounting and corporate governance practices, reports in Bloomberg Quint said late last week.

The publication said the ICICI has American Depository Receipts that are traded in the U.S., sparking SEC concerns over the Indian bank’s work with certain borrowers. Unnamed sources told reporters that the SEC is questioning the institution about possible misrepresentations on its books as well.

The sources said that ICICI’s board launched an internal probe against the bank’s Chief Executive Officer Chanda Kochhar about the allegation, which includes claims of a “quid pro quo” while working with some corporate borrowers. Federal regulators have already completed a preliminary inquiry into some of the claims, report said.

Bloomberg Quint said the sources noted that the SEC has requested information on ICICI’s accounting practices between 2011 and 2016. Both the ICICI and SEC declined to comment on the matter.

ICICI hit headlines recently for its efforts in payments innovation and modernization as India pushes against cash. Earlier this year, the bank joined SWIFT gpi, citing support for international trade to promote economic growth.

The financial institution’s (FI) innovation efforts have been particularly strong in B2B payments. In February, the company announced a partnership with Zoho, which provides businesses with an array of software products to manage their business, enabling joint corporate customers to link their ICICI accounts to the Zoho platform. Previously, ICICI also rolled out its first contactless payment card for commercial clients.

In news from the SEC, the agency stood its ground last week on a previous decision to block a bitcoin exchange-traded fund developed by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.