Axis Bank has asked its president and chief information officer Amit Sethi to resign. Sethi’s exit from the country’s third-largest lender followed a complaint from a whistleblower regarding the functioning of the bank’s technology department, which he headed, said two sources familiar with the development.
In response to an ET query, an Axis spokesperson confirmed the development. “The concerned official is no longer in charge of the IT function at the bank. Matters that require further inquiry are being taken up in accordance with the bank’s policies and procedures.”
The contents of the whistleblower’s letter to the Axis management could not be ascertained. But, it is believed to contain allegations of irregularities and inappropriate deals. This could not be independently verified by ET. A text and a WhatsApp message to Sethi requesting comment on the matter went unanswered till the time of going to print.
Axis said Avinash Raghavendra, who has been with the bank for 20 years, will be in charge of the technology department in place of Sethi.
A management graduate from Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), New Delhi, Sethi has been with Axis since May 2013. He was reporting to V Srinivasan, deputy managing director at Axis. Sethi was responsible for developing Axis’s technology capabilities, according to his LinkedIn profile. Prior to Axis, he worked with Yes Bank and ICICI Bank.
Sethi has not been attending office following the whistleblower’s compliant, said the second person quoted above. “There has been an investigation after the whistleblower complained to the management about discrepancies in the functioning of the department,” the person said.
This is a rare instance of an Indian bank acting against a senior executive on the basis of a complaint by a whistleblower.