António Horta-Osório resigns as president of Credit Suisse due to Covid violations

António Horta-Osório has resigned as chairman of Credit Suisse after a board investigation found he violated coronavirus quarantine rules on multiple occasions.

The former chief executive of UK-based Lloyds Banking Group has only been in the position for eight months and has promised to restore the Swiss bank’s reputation after a series of spate. famous scandals.

However, Horta-Osório’s personal conduct became the subject of a board-level investigation late last year after he was found to have breached quarantine rules. at least twice.

Once the report was finalized, Horta-Osório held discussions with the bank’s board over the weekend about his decision to quit, according to a person briefed on the negotiations.

“I regret that some of my personal actions have resulted in difficulties for the bank and affected its ability to represent the bank inside and outside the bank,” Horta-Osório said in a statement on Friday. Sunday evening. “Therefore, I believe that my resignation is in the best interest of the bank and its stakeholders at this important time.”

Axel Lehmann, former chief executive officer and head of Swiss business at UBS, has been drafted as the new president of Credit Suisse. He joined the bank’s board of directors in October.

“By executing our strategic plan in a timely and disciplined manner, without distractions, I believe Credit Suisse will demonstrate the innovation power and business focus needed to create value. sustainability for all of our stakeholders,” said Lehmann.

Horta-Osório was discovered to have breach of UK quarantine rules as he flew to London and then watched the Wimbledon tennis final on July 10 and 11. At the time, Switzerland was on the UK’s “amber” list of countries to face restrictions, with visitors required to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival.

In a later incident, Horta-Osório broke Swiss Covid rules flying in and out of the country within three days. He traveled from London to Zurich on November 28, shortly after a 10-day quarantine request was made in Switzerland after the Omicron coronavirus variant was identified.

Horta-Osório apologized for the “mistake” and described the breach as “unintentional”.

However, the Swiss newspaper Blick reported that he had initially sought exemptions from both the local canton and the federal government, but was told he would not receive special treatment and would need to quarantine for 10 full days.

Credit Suisse has been stirred by two scandals involving Greensill Capital and the Archegos family office in the weeks before Horta-Osório’s appointed as chairman last April.

Since assuming the role, the Portuguese banker, who was knighted in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday last June, has spoken of being “committed to developing the culture personal accountability and accountability” at the bank.

But the negative publicity surrounding his Covid breaches drew attention from a strategic review he announced in November.

Credit Suisse CEO said: “The most important thing this bank needs is quiet. “What happens around him is not helpful.”

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