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Credit Suisse boss Antonio Horta-Osório resigns over COVID breaches

Credit Suisse boss Antonio Horta-Osório resigns over COVID breaches
António Horta Osório lasted just eight months at the top post at Credit Suisse. Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty (JUSTIN TALLIS via Getty Images)

Credit Suisse (CS) chairman António Horta-Osório has resigned from the Swiss bank after just eight months following a board investigation into breaches of coronavirus quarantine rules.

The Swiss bank reportedly discovered that the former Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L) boss had broken UK quarantine laws in the summer to attend the Wimbledon tennis tournament.

The Portuguese banker had already apologised after it emerged he had not followed Switzerland’s ten-day quarantine requirement during a brief visit to the country between 28 November and 1 December.

“I regret that a number of my personal actions have led to difficulties for the bank and compromised my ability to represent the bank internally and externally,” the Portuguese banker said in a statement issued by Credit Suisse.

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“I therefore believe that my resignation is in the interest of the bank and its stakeholders at this crucial time,” he added.

Credit Suisse confirmed on Monday that Horta-Osório had resigned after an investigation commissioned by the board, but did not give any details of the findings.

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The bank said board member Axel Lehmann was appointed to take over the chairman role, effective immediately.

“We have set the right course with the new strategy and will continue to embed a stronger risk culture across the firm. By executing our strategic plan in a timely and disciplined manner, without distraction, I am convinced that Credit Suisse will demonstrate the renewed strength and business focus we need to generate sustainable value for all our stakeholders,” he said.

Lehmann is a former executive at UBS who joined Credit Suisse in late 2021 and is chair of its risk committee.

Horta-Osório’s departure follows a series of expensive failures at the bank, including the $5.5bn (£4bn) hit caused by the implosion of hedge fund Archegos Capital Management and its ties with the now-insolvent finance firm Greensill Capital.

The banker lasted just eight months at the top post, after promising to restore the Swiss bank’s reputation as Credit Suisse admitted hiring private detectives to spy on executives.

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