Antonio Horta-Osorio: The Swiss knife always loomed for former Lloyds Bank boss at Credit Suisse


ntonio Horta-Osorio just had to go. A breach of Covid rules, including attending Wimbledon, is a bad look for a chairman, especially one trying to turn around a scandal torn bank.

He goes, as they say, with immediate effect. Politicians might take note of this, but they won’t.

This issue aside, it is tempting to think that he never had a chance in the first place.

The Swiss banking world is incredibly insular. And to the Swiss, especially the Swiss press, Credit Suisse is more than just a bank.

It’s a national symbol; lately a near constant source of embarrassment that is supposed to a source of pride. If there was a financial mess to land in, Credit Suisse jumped feet first.

READ MOREFTSE 100 Live: Unilever latest on Glaxo swoop, Credit Suisse boss quits Credit Suisse ousts chairman after quarantine probeAmazon abandons plans for Visa credit card ban


Why the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 should be your next smartphone

In 2020, Tidjane Thiam, a native of the Ivory Coast, had to fall on his CEO sword following a spying scandal not of his own making.

The sense that insiders were making an outsider carry the can was hard to escape.

AHO’s replacement as chairman is the very Swiss Axel Lehmann, a former Swiss Life, Zurich Insurance and UBS executive before he rocked up at Credit Suisse last year.

He is a man sufficiently versed in the ways of Swiss finance not to propose radical changes that the establishment, whatever they say, simply do not want.

It is tempting to assume that the Portugese Horta-Osorio fell foul of more than just Covid regulations. He was an outsider in one of the most closed of all inside worlds.

If there were leeway to be given over any of this, it seems unlikely he would have been the beneficiary of it.