Antonio Horta-Osorio, who joined Switzerland’s second-largest bank less than a year ago, had resigned with immediate effect following an investigation commissioned by the board, Credit Suisse said in a statement.
Axel Lehmann, who joined Credit Suisse just three months ago to chair the board’s risk committee, was appointed as his replacement.
The resignation adds to the woes of the Swiss banking giant, which was rocked by its links to the multi-billion-dollar meltdowns at financial firms Greensill and Archegos last year.
“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-Osorio said in the statement.
“I therefore believe that my resignation is in the interest of the bank and its stakeholders at this crucial time.”
Crowned with a solid reputation after having successfully turned around the British bank Lloyds, Horta-Osorio was elected chairman in April, pledging to put better risk management at the heart of the bank’s culture.
But in December, his image was tarnished by revelations in the Swiss newspaper Blick.
Following the tabloid’s report, Credit Suisse confirmed last month that Horta-Osorio had violated quarantine rules.
The Portuguese banker apologised but revelations of other quarantine violations followed and the board launched an investigation.
Switzerland imposed a 10-day quarantine rule on November 26 for people flying in from countries where the Covid-19 variant Omicron had been detected.
Blick reported that Horta-Osorio had travelled back to Switzerland from Britain aboard a private jet, then asked if he could be released from quarantine.
Despite a no from the authorities, Horta-Osorio took a plane to the Iberian peninsula before heading to New York for a board meeting, said the tabloid.
Michael Foeth, an analyst at Vontobel bank, said breaking quarantine rules had created a “credibility problem” for a chairman who had put the culture of personal accountability at the heart of the bank’s transformation.