ICICI Bank, full form Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India, is an Indian multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The bank, which has its registered office in Vadodara, Gujarat, offers a wide range of banking products and financial services for corporate and retail customers. As of 2018, it is the second-largest bank in India in terms of assets and market capitalisation, and it has a network of 4,882 branches and 15,101 ATMs across India.
ICICI Bank has a presence in 17 countries including India and offers a wide range of banking products and financial services through a variety of delivery channels and through its group companies. The group companies are ICICI Group, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company, ICICI Securities, ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company, ICICI Prudential Asset Management Company, ICICI Prudential Trust, ICICI Venture, ICICI Direct, ICICI Foundation, Disha Financial Counselling, and ICICI Home Finance Company Limited. It also has banking subsidiaries in UK and Canada.
ICICI was formed in 1955 at the initiative of the World Bank, the Government of India and representatives of the Indian industry. The principal objective was to create a development financial institution for providing medium-term and long-term project financing to Indian businesses. ICICI Bank was established by the Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India Bank (ICICI), an Indian financial institution, as a wholly-owned subsidiary in 1994. The parent company was later merged with the bank.
In the 1990s, ICICI transformed its business from a development financial institution offering only project finance to a diversified financial services group offering a wide variety of products and services, both directly and through a number of subsidiaries and affiliates like ICICI Bank. In 1999, ICICI become the first Indian company and the first bank or financial institution from non-Japan Asia to be listed on the NYSE.
After consideration of various corporate structuring alternatives in the context of the emerging competitive scenario in the Indian banking industry, and the move towards universal banking, the managements of ICICI and ICICI Bank formed the view that the merger of ICICI with ICICI Bank would be the optimal strategic alternative for both entities, and would create the optimal legal structure for the ICICI group's universal banking strategy.
The merger would enhance value for ICICI shareholders through the merged entity's access to low-cost deposits, greater opportunities for earning fee-based income and the ability to participate in the payments system and provide transaction-banking services. The merger would enhance value for ICICI Bank shareholders through a large capital base and scale of operations, seamless access to ICICI's strong corporate relationships built up over five decades, entry into new business segments, higher market share in various business segments, particularly fee-based services, and access to the vast talent pool of ICICI and its subsidiaries.
In October 2001, the Boards of Directors of ICICI and ICICI Bank approved the merger of ICICI and two of its wholly-owned retail finance subsidiaries, ICICI Personal Financial Services Limited and ICICI Capital Services Limited, with ICICI Bank. The merger was approved by shareholders of ICICI and ICICI Bank in January 2002, by the High Court of Gujarat at Ahmedabad in March 2002, and by the High Court of Judicature at Mumbai and the Reserve Bank of India in April 2002. Consequent to the merger, the ICICI group's financing and banking operations, both wholesale and retail, have been integrated into a single entity.
ICICI Bank was in the news on October 4, 2018 after its then MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar was asked to step down from her position following allegations of corruption. She was officially terminated from her service by the bank's board in January 2019.
It came into the spotlight earlier for the inhumane methods it used during the recovery of debts from loan payment defaulters. Accusations ranged from goons being sent to collect dues to recovery agents misbehaving, threatening and public shaming defaulters.
In 2013, ICICI Bank was accused of blatant money laundering through violation of RBI guidelines in the famous CobraPost sting operation which shook up the Indian banking industry during April–May of that year.
AWARDS & RECOGNITION:
ICICI Bank has received a number of awards and recognitions like, The Asian Banker Excellence in Retail Financial Services Program by The Asian Banker in 2003, Best Bank in India Award presented by Euromoney Magazine in 2004, Bank of the Year 2006 India by the Banker, Best bank in SME financing (Private Sector) at the Dun & Bradstreet Banking awards in 2009, Best Banking Security System by The Asian Banker in 2010, the Golden Peacock Innovative Product/Service Award in 2012, and a host of other awards for its services.
In 2017, it was recognised as the Best Foreign Exchange Provider in India by Global Finance magazine as part of their list of The World's Best Foreign Exchange Providers 2017. It was declared a winner in three categories at the BFSI Digital Innovation Awards 2017 organised by the Indian Express Group, on October 7, 2017. The Bank has won these awards in Data Centers, Internet of Things (IoT) and Storage categories. It also won the Website of the Year - India award at the ABF Retail Banking Awards 2017.