António Horta-Osório’s optional error | British Weekly

Peter Thal Larsen said: “Credit Suisse is proving to be something of a graveyard for the reputations of international financiers that once flew high. Reuters Breakingviews. Less than a year after coming “to stabilize” the scandal-ridden bank, chairman Sir António Horta-Osório – formerly a toast to Lloyds Bank – has caused a scandal of his own, exposed currently in breach of UK and Swiss Covid isolation rules. (in the former case attending the Wimbledon men’s tennis final). “Horta-Osório may have saved some of his fame by quickly accepting the consequences of his actions,” and resigned. “But another round of boardroom volatility is the last thing Credit Suisse needs.” The bank has appointed a safe-haven candidate, Axel Lehmann of UBS, to replace him. But it was a blow to international investors “who had placed their hopes” on the Portuguese bank’s “turnaround skills”.

Horta-Osório “was hoping for a slap on the wrist,” said Margot Patrick and Emily Glazer in The Wall Street Journal. He doesn’t understand. His disregard for Covid rules when entering and leaving Switzerland has “hit the psyche of many Credit Suisse employees and the orderly Swiss public”. It could also lead to closer scrutiny of executives at other companies. To date, the company’s only known casualty from the rule violation is three Canadians who traveled out of the country for an early vaccination. “Default assumption,” says Nils Pratley in Guardians, that is “Swiss banks are introverted institutions that seek to remove a reform-minded outsider from their boards”. But “no such conspiracy mindset” is needed here – especially when “Saint António” is hired to promote a “culture of individual responsibility and accountability”, following an spy scandal. Boardroom messages and costly failures include the collapse of hedge fund Archegos and supply chain lender Greensill. “Resignation is the only possible outcome… Even in his own patch at Lloyds, AHO certainly wouldn’t be able to survive this episode.”

Mr. Brooke Masters in FT — but in a bumper year for banks, “stocks are still down more than 20% over the past year.” And “many people at the bank got sick” of the “puffy and straightforward” Horta-Osório, who had little experience in investment banking or wealth management. Ultimately, his actions represent an attitude common among the elite: that the rules are for others. “But what does it say about accountability that the president of a Swiss bank has been held to a higher standard than sitting British Prime Minister? ” António Horta-Osório’s optional error | British Weekly

Fry Electronics Team

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