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Videocon loan row: Newly appointed Banks Board Bureau member Pradeep Kumar advised Rajiv Kochhar's firm Avista till recently

P Pradeep Kumar, one of three new members of the reconstituted Banks Board Bureau (BBB), was an advisor to Singapore-headquartered Avista Advisory Group, founded by Rajiv Kochhar, till recently.

File photographs of Rajiv Kochhar and P Pradeep Kumar. Image courtesy: Avista Advisory Group.

File photographs of Rajiv Kochhar and P Pradeep Kumar. Image courtesy: Avista Advisory Group.

Kumar, appointed BBB member on Thursday, told The Indian Express: “I resigned from my post at Avista Advisory earlier this week due to the ongoing controversy around Avista. Last year in July, I began working with Avista as an advisor and was with them for nine months. My role was to advise on the firm’s strategy.”

Kumar is a former managing director of the State Bank of India (SBI). He headed the lender’s US operations for a while.

Avista boss Rajiv has been quizzed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is probing the ICICI Bank -Videocon loan controversy.

The agency has registered a preliminary probe, naming Videocon Group promoter Venugopal Dhoot, Rajiv’s brother Deepak and others, to determine alleged wrongdoing in the sanctioning of a Rs 3,250 crore ICICI loan to the Videocon Group.

Rajiv was reportedly questioned about Avista’s mandate to restructure foreign currency-denominated debt deals worth over $1.7 billion, of seven firms over the past six years. ICICI lent to those firms and in at least one deal, ICICI was the lead banker.

Reportage of the row has levelled allegations of nepotism against ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar.

Updated Date: Apr 13, 2018 16:24 PM

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