COVID-19: Credit Suisse Chairman Antonio Horta-Osorio resigns for nine months after bank investigation finds he broke quarantine rules | Economic news
The chairman of Credit Suisse has resigned just nine months after breaking COVID-19 quarantine rules – in fresh controversy for the global investment bank as it recovers from a series of scandals.
Antonio Horta-Osorio’s departure was announced by the Switzerland-based lender on Monday in a sharp move that comes less than a year after he joined to clean up the company’s corporate culture.
He is now raising questions about the embattled lender’s new strategy after his reputation was tarnished by his involvement with collapsed investment firm Archegos and insolvent supply chain finance firm Greensill Capital.
Mr Horta-Osorio is the former chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group and previously served as chief executive of Santander.
He is now in the spotlight for the information he violated coronavirus quarantine rules twice in 2021.
In a statement posted on the bank’s website, the 57-year-old Portuguese banker said: “I regret that a number of my personal actions have caused difficulties for the bank and compromised my ability to represent the bank internally. and externally.
“I therefore believe that my resignation is in the interest of the bank and its stakeholders at this crucial time. I wish my colleagues at Credit Suisse every success in the future.”
The bank said Mr Horta-Osorio had resigned following an investigation commissioned by the board and announced it had appointed Axel P Lehmann as the bank’s new chairman ‘with immediate effect’ .
In December it was reported that a preliminary internal bank investigation found Mr Horta-Osorio had attended the Wimbledon tennis final in London in July without following UK quarantine rules.
He also allegedly flouted the rules during a visit to Switzerland in November by leaving the country for a 10-day quarantine period, according to the bank.
Last April Mr Horta-Osorio stepped down as chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group following a 10 year term during which he stabilized the bank and oversaw its return to the private sector after its bailout by the government in the aftermath of the financial crisis.
He had previously addressed allegations about his private life after details surfaced of an alleged extramarital affair.
Credit Suisse, which announced a new strategy in November in a bid to curb a freewheeling culture that has cost it billions, said the bank would continue to implement its new strategy with Mr Lehmann at the helm.
Mr Lehmann, 63, spent more than a decade at rival UBS, where he was responsible for the bank’s Swiss personal and corporate unit after a stint of nearly two decades at Zurich Insurance Group.
The sudden exit of Mr. Horta-Osorio demoralized staff, with some wondering what was next for the bank.
“What a waste and yet again we are making headlines for the wrong reason,” a senior private banker at Credit Suisse said anonymously, as he was not authorized to speak to the media.