António Horta-Osório has resigned as chair of Credit score Suisse after a board investigation discovered that he had breached coronavirus quarantine guidelines greater than as soon as.
The previous chief govt of UK-based Lloyds Banking Group had been within the publish for simply eight months and had promised to revive the Swiss financial institution’s popularity following a spate of high-profile scandals.
But Horta-Osório’s private conduct turned the topic of a board-level investigation on the finish of final yr after he was discovered to have breached quarantine guidelines on at the least two events.
After the report was finalised, Horta-Osório held discussions with the financial institution’s board over the weekend about his determination to give up, in line with an individual briefed on the talks.
“I remorse that quite a few my private actions have led to difficulties for the financial institution and compromised my means to symbolize the financial institution internally and externally,” Horta-Osório mentioned in a press release on Sunday evening. “I due to this fact imagine that my resignation is within the curiosity of the financial institution and its stakeholders at this important time.”
Axel Lehmann, the previous chief working officer and head of the Swiss enterprise at UBS, has been drafted in as the brand new chair of Credit score Suisse. He joined the financial institution’s board in October.
“By executing our strategic plan in a well timed and disciplined method, with out distraction, I’m satisfied that Credit score Suisse will reveal the renewed energy and enterprise focus wanted to generate sustainable worth for all of our stakeholders,” Lehmann mentioned.
Horta-Osório was discovered to have breached the UK’s quarantine guidelines when he flew to London and subsequently watched the Wimbledon tennis finals on July 10 and 11. On the time, Switzerland was on the UK’s “amber” listing of countries going through restrictions, with travellers required to isolate for 10 days on arrival.
In a later incident, Horta-Osório broke Swiss Covid guidelines when he flew in and in another country inside three days. He had travelled from London to Zurich on November 28, shortly after a 10-day quarantine requirement was launched in Switzerland following the identification of the Omicron coronavirus variant.
Horta-Osório apologised for the “mistake” and characterised the breach as “unintentional”.
Nevertheless, the Swiss newspaper Blick reported that he initially sought exemptions from each the native canton and federal authorities, however was informed he would obtain no particular remedy and would wish to isolate for the complete 10 days.
Credit score Suisse was roiled by twin scandals involving Greensill Capital and household workplace Archegos within the weeks main as much as Horta-Osório’s appointment as chair final April.
Since assuming the function, the Portuguese banker, who was knighted in Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday honours final June, has talked about being “dedicated to growing a tradition of private duty and accountability” on the financial institution.
However the damaging publicity surrounding his Covid breaches took consideration away from a strategic assessment he introduced in November.
“Crucial factor this financial institution wants is for it to be quiet,” mentioned a Credit score Suisse govt. “What occurred round him was not useful.”