Former Lloyds boss Horta-Osorio quits Credit Suisse after investigation

The former boss of Lloyds Banking Group has stepped down as chairman of Credit Suisse after less than 12 months following an investigation into his personal actions.

By Ros Snowdon
Tuesday, 18th January 2022, 12:34 pm
Sir Antonio Horta-Osorio (Photo by Joe Giddens - WPA Pool/Getty IMages)
Sir Antonio Horta-Osorio (Photo by Joe Giddens - WPA Pool/Getty IMages)

Sir Antonio Horta-Osorio, who steered Lloyds and its sister bank Halifax 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.".

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He has been replaced as chairman by board member Axel Lehmann.

Sir Antonio has reportedly broken Covid regulations in two countries over the last year.

Last July he is reported to have gone to the Wimbledon finals despite having recently arrived from Switzerland.

Switzerland was on the UK’s amber list at the time, so he should have been in quarantine, not at the tennis.

The bank has also admitted that he broke Switzerland’s rules on quarantine in November, having left the country before his 10-day isolation had ended.

Sir Antonio was made a knight 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 when 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.

He was brought into Credit Suisse to help correct its course after the high-profile problems the Swiss bank had with Archegos and Greensill Capital. Both companies were tied to Credit Suisse and both went out of business.

In 2020 Credit Suisse’s chief executive, Tidjane Thiam, resigned amid a spying scandal at the bank.