employees to be better at managing risks and following the rules when he joined the Swiss bank in April after a string of scandals.
The chairman got caught up in his own misconduct earlier this month, breaking quarantine in Switzerland with a plane ride out of the country. Mr. Horta-Osório said the breach was unintentional and has reported it to health authorities and to Switzerland’s financial regulator. He apologized and said it wouldn’t happen again.
Mr. Horta-Osório flew from London to Zurich on Nov. 28, a day after Switzerland imposed a 10-day quarantine on arrivals from the U.K. and several other countries because of the Omicron coronavirus variant. Credit Suisse explored whether the chairman could return to work in the office with negative testing or other measures, a person familiar with the matter said, but the request was declined by health authorities.
Mr. Horta-Osório left Switzerland on Dec. 1 after giving a speech that day by video on the role of leadership in strategy and culture to the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce. In a statement, Mr. Horta-Osório said he strictly followed quarantine rules while he was in Switzerland and regrets the mistake he made by leaving prematurely.
Credit Suisse said compliance with laws and guidelines was a priority for the bank and the chairman. A spokesman for the financial regulator said it was in touch with Credit Suisse on the matter. Swiss newspaper Blick reported on Mr. Horta-Osório’s actions on Wednesday.
Cultivating personal responsibility and accountability has been a plank of Mr. Horta-Osório’s leadership. He joined Credit Suisse weeks after a double whammy: It lost around $5.1 billion from family office Archegos Capital Management defaulting on large stock positions and separately suffered financial and reputational fallout from the collapse of another client and financing partner, Greensill Capital.
A report Credit Suisse’s board commissioned into the Archegos loss blamed a “lackadaisical attitude towards risk and risk discipline” for the failure. Mr. Horta-Osório said the bank had to foster a better culture and improve controls.
Portugal-born Mr. Horta-Osório has been a frequent traveler since taking the Credit Suisse job. He was based in London before Zurich, as the chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group PLC. This week, he has been at a Credit Suisse board meeting in New York.
Adhering to coronavirus-related rules is a sensitive area for globe-hopping executives and politicians. Two Canadian executives resigned from their posts this year after traveling to get vaccinated.
Some countries, including Switzerland, sometimes grant exemptions for businesspeople traveling. Hong Kong granted a waiver when JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive
made a 32-hour visit in November.
Write to Margot Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org
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