Credit Suisse boss Horta-Osorio quits over Covid breaches

Banker breached quarantine rules to attend Wimbledon tennis tournament

Benjamin Cooper
Monday 17 January 2022 12:16
The former boss of Lloyds Banking Group has stepped down as chairman of Credit Suisse after less than 12 months following an investigation (Jonathan Brady/PA)
The former boss of Lloyds Banking Group has stepped down as chairman of Credit Suisse after less than 12 months following an investigation (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The former boss of Lloyds Banking Group has stepped down as chair of Credit Suisse after less than 12 months following an investigation into breaches of Covid rules.

Antonio Horta-Osorio, who steered lending giant Lloyds back into private ownership after its 2008 financial crisis bailout, said in a statement issued by Credit Suisse his actions had led to “difficulties” for the Swiss bank.

“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.

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

An investigation by Credit Suisse found Mr Horta-Osorio failed to comply with the UK’s travel quarantine requirements so he could attend the Wimbledon tennis finals in July.

He also breached Covid restrictions in Switzerland by failing to quarantine for 10 days as required after arriving in the country in November.

Mr Horta-Osorio has been replaced as chair by board member Axel Lehmann, the company said.

Mr Horta-Osorio received a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2021 for his services to the financial sector, as well as his voluntary work for mental healthcare and culture.

He had headed up Santander’s UK arm before taking over at Lloyds in early 2011 the bank was on its knees after its £20.3bn taxpayer bailout at the height of the financial crisis following an ill-fated rescue of rival HBOS.

The Lisbon-born 57-year-old, who has British citizenship, bowed out from Lloyds in April with a £2.1bn first-quarter profits haul.

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