Credit Suisse picks António Horta-Osório as chairman

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Credit Suisse has named António Horta-Osório as its next chairman, picking the outgoing chief executive of Lloyds Bank to help steer the lender through the fallout from the coronavirus crisis.

Mr Horta-Osório will start at Credit Suisse at the end of April, the bank said in a statement on Tuesday. Urs Rohner, the Swiss lender’s outgoing chairman, said that Mr Horta-Osório was a “highly proven and recognised professional” with an “impressive record of accomplishments”.

The appointment comes just four months after Credit Suisse launched a sweeping restructuring plan under new chief executive Thomas Gottstein, who replaced Tidjane Thiam earlier this year. The changes are designed to cut costs and improve efficiencies and are expected to save SFr400m a year by 2022.

Credit Suisse said in October it would renew dividend payments and launch a share buyback scheme. Mr Gottstein said that the bank had “proven the strength of our diversified business”.

Alongside the appointment of Mr Horta-Osório, Credit Suisse also said on Tuesday that it was facing a $680m fine in the US because of residential mortgage-backed securities issued in 2007. It has already taken a $300m provision for the fine and said it had strong grounds for appeal.

The announcement of Mr Horta-Osório as chairman comes a day after Lloyds said it had chosen HSBC’s Charlie Nunn as its next chief executive. Earlier this year, Lloyds had said that Mr Horta-Osório would be leaving the UK bank in 2021.

The 56-year-old has led Lloyds since 2011, steering the bank through the aftermath of the financial crisis, returning it to profitability and the private sector after it was bailed out by the government in 2008.

Mr Horta-Osório has a “good reputation in the market”, analysts at Vontobel noted, pointing out that his background is “primarily related to retail and commercial” banking.

Lloyds said on Monday that Mr Horta-Osório would step down at the end of April and that chief financial officer William Chalmers would temporarily take on the role of chief executive if Mr Nunn had not joined by then.

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