ANNOUNCEMENT: Expert Investor is now PA Europe. Read more.

Credit Suisse chair resigns over covid rule breaches

Axel Lehmann will replace him


Antonio Horta-Osorio has stepped down as chairman of Credit Suisse, less than a year after taking the role.

The move comes after he was found to have broken covid rules twice in 2021.

In July, he did not follow the UK’s guidelines to attend Wimbledon’s tennis final, while in November he failed to adhere to Switzerland’s 10-day quarantine requirement, as he left the country three days after arriving.

The Swiss wealth giant said board member and chair of the risk committee Axel Lehmann will take on the role of chairman effective immediately.

The board will also propose him for election as chairman at the upcoming annual general meeting on 29 April 2022.

‘Personal actions’

Horta-Osório said: “I have worked hard to return Credit Suisse to a successful course, and I am proud of what we have achieved together in my short time at the bank. Credit Suisse’s strategic realignment will provide for a clear focus on strengthening, simplifying and investing for growth.

“I am convinced that Credit Suisse is well positioned today and on the right track for the future. 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.

“I therefore believe that my resignation is in the interest of the bank and its stakeholders at this crucial time. I wish my colleagues at Credit Suisse every success for the future.”

Severin Schwan, vice-chairman and lead independent director of the board of Credit Suisse, added: “We respect António’s decision and owe him considerable thanks for his leadership in defining the new strategy, which we will continue to implement over the coming months and years.

“Axel Lehmann as the new chairman, with his extensive international and Swiss industry experience, is ideally suited to drive forward the strategic and cultural transformation of the bank. We wish Axel every success in his new role and António all the best for the future.”