The Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) issued an administrative warning to ICICI Bank for trying to influence shareholders to vote in favour of delisting ICICI securities, ANI reported.

A bird flies past the facade of the ICICI bank head office in Mumbai(REUTERS)

The market regulator, in a letter to the bank dated June 6, noted that it received several complaints from shareholders of ICICI Securities (I-Sec) alleging that they had received multiple calls or messages from the Bank officials to vote in favour of the delisting scheme, and also seeking screenshots of the voting.

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ICICI Securities secured the votes needed to delist its stock in late March this year.

Bank officials asking for screenshots from the shareholders was inappropriate, SEBI said.

ICICI Bank had said they (I-Sec and the Bank) had undertaken an outreach programme to maximise participation of ICICI Securities shareholders in the voting process and that the brokerage has shared the data of its shareholders with the Bank at SEBI’s request.

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The Bank further said that the outreach was done in face of what it termed a ‘concerted campaign’ on social media by some “sophisticated” shareholders of ICICI securities against the delisting scheme.

SEBI said there was a clear conflict of interest as the bank is the promoter with more than 74% shareholding in I-Sec and an interested party in the transaction, concluding that the outreach was inappropriate, the report read.

“This has been viewed seriously. You are, therefore, warned to be careful in future and improve your compliance standards to avoid recurrence of such instances,” SEBI said, adding that failing which, necessary actions may be initiated, according to the report.

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