ICICI’s UK arm accused of mistreating whistleblower: Report
December 15, 2009
India's leading private lender ICICI Bank Ltd's UK subsidiary has been accused by the Employment Tribunals in London of mistreating a whistleblower, a media report says.
According to a report in the Financial Times (FT), the bank tried immediately to repatriate the dealer, S Kapoor, to India against his wishes after it was confirmed that he had informed the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) about alleged irregularities.
In a ruling last month on the case, the Judge wrote, "It is our conclusion (that) the respondent (ICICI) subjected him to a detriment and that it did so because of the protected disclosures that he made internally and more importantly, to the FSA."
Meanwhile, ICICI Bank said the matter was sub judice but it rejected the allegation that Mr Kapoor's repatriation was linked to his disclosures, saying it was instead due to the closure of his division, the proprietary trading group (PTG).
The FT quoted the bank as saying that "we insist that there is no connection between the whistle-blowing incident and the decision to close the PTG.”
In January, Mr Kapoor and a colleague noticed that their superior on the three-man team was allegedly altering records to cover up his trading losses, which touched more than $1 million in 2008, the tribunal ruling said. The pair reported the issue to the management, prompting an internal investigation, the daily said. — Yogesh Sapkale