Antonio Horta-Osorio, the chairman of global banking behemoth Credit Suisse, has resigned with immediate effect after violating Covid-19 quarantine restrictions.
Horta-Osorio had only been with the bank for nine months and he quit her job after an internal probe.
After a series of crises at Credit Suisse, the former CEO of Lloyds Banking Group had joined the Swiss bank.
However, it has been revealed that he broke Covid restrictions last year, including going to the Wimbledon tennis championships.
“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,” Horta-Osorio said in a statement issued by the bank.
“I therefore believe that my resignation is in the interest of the bank and its stakeholders at this crucial time,” he added.
Axel Lehmann, a board member, has taken Horta-Osorio’s place.
Antonio Horta-Osorio had gone to Wimbledon to watch Novak Djokovic win the men’s singles title. Breaking Covid-19 guidelines.
A preliminary examination conducted by Credit Suisse last month had found Horta-Osorio to have violated Covid-19 guidelines.
In July, he visited the Wimbledon tennis championships while in quarantine in the UK due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Horta-Osorio also broke Swiss Covid-19 rules by flying into the country on November 28 and leaving on December 1, according to reports. According to Swiss law, he should have been quarantined for ten days when he arrived.
Horta-Osorio joined Credit Suisse in April of last year, after the bank was embroiled in a series of scandals.
Tidjane Thiam, the then-CEO of Credit Suisse, left in February 2020 when it was found that the firm had spied on key staff. Mr Thiam claimed he was unaware of the espionage operations.
Credit Suisse has also suffered significant losses as a result of the failing financial business Greensill, which funded Liberty Steel, and Archegos, the collapsed US hedge fund last year.
Last year, in a report into its relationship with Archegos, Horta-Osorio said: “We are committed to developing a culture of personal responsibility and accountability.”
Antonio Horta-brief Osorio’s stay at the helm of one of Switzerland’s biggest banks has spawned two tales.
One is that he broke the rules, was investigated, and was asked to resign after being found in violation.
However, supporters of the former CEO of Lloyds Banking Group argue that the board of Credit Suisse could have censured him rather than sacking him, and that the Swiss bank did not recognise his efforts to restructure an executive team and a culture that had been plagued by scandals in recent years.
Clients of Credit Suisse lost billions after the bank invested them in financial instruments devised by the now-defunct Greensill Capital, while the bank itself suffered a multi-billion dollar loss as a result of the bankruptcy of hedge fund Archegos.
The bank was also embroiled in an extraordinary eavesdropping incident, which resulted in the removal of chief executive Tidjane Thiam.
Ironically, the man hired by Credit Suisse to put an end to a string of bad press is the focus of one this morning.
Justin Tang, head of Asian research at investment firm United First Partners, said Credit Suisse “has been in the ‘damaged goods’ section for a while now”.
“While Horta-Osorio was responsible for the new strategy, his short tenure means that the revamp is likely to only be in the nascent stage. The irony of it is that Horta was hired to fix the reputational damage to Credit Suisse and revamp its risk taking culture in the bank.”
“I am proud of what we have achieved together in my short time at the bank,” Horta-Osorio said in a statement.
(Adapted from Independent.co.uk)