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Credit Suisse chairman resigns after breaking COVID-19 protocols

Credit Suisse Chairman António Horta-Osório has resigned following claims that he violated COVID-19 protocols on multiple occasions, including by attending Wimbledon last year, the Swiss bank announced Monday. Credit Suisse said Horta-Osório’s exit comes after an investigation commissioned by its board of directors. A preliminary internal investigation found Horta-Osório breached protocol last July when he attended the Wimbledon tennis tournament’s finals despite Britain’s quarantine rules. In November, Horta-Osório also broke Switzerland’s rules by traveling without a 10-day quarantine. “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-Osório said in a statement. “I therefore believe that my resignation is in the interest of the bank and its stakeholders at this crucial time,” he added. “I wish my colleagues at Credit Suisse every success for the future.” Horta-Osório resigned less than one year after he took the role with a mandate to lead an overhaul at the embattled bank amid several scandals. Credit Suisse said Axel P. Lehmann will replace Horta-Osório as chairman. A former UBS executive, Lehmann had served as a board member and chairman of Credit Suisse’s risk committee since last October. Credit Suisse did not provide details regarding of the findings of its internal investigation. Sources told Reuters that the investigation focused on Horta-Osório’s behavior, including his use of company planes. “Under the leadership of Axel Lehmann, the Board and the Executive Board will continue to execute Credit Suisse’s strategy, driving forward the transformation of the bank,” the bank said in a press release. Credit Suisse shares have declined more than 20 percent over the last 12 months. Horta-Osório was tasked with leading a turnaround at the Swiss bank following multiple missteps, including major financial losses linked the collapse of investment firm Archegos Capital. Credit Suisse lost $5.5 billion when Archegos imploded last March due to risky trades. Credit Suisse also faced scrutiny over a pair of corporate spying scandals involving top executives. Horta-Osório had pledged to rebuild the bank’s credibility with an emphasis on risk management.

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