QUOTES-Credit Suisse Chairman Horta-Osorio resigns over COVID-19 breaches

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LONDON, Jan 17 (Reuters) – The departure of Credit Suisse chairman Antonio Horta-Osorio has raised concern about whether the embattled lender will stick to its strategic overhaul plans after he was hired to help it deal with the implosion of collapsed investment firm Archegos and the insolvency of British supply chain finance company Greenshill Capital.

ANNA LOZMANN, ANALYST AT RATINGS AGENCY Sandamp;amp;P:

“In terms of ESG (environmental, social, and governance issues), the group is a negative outlier compared to Swiss-based peers and compared to domestic peers. And this is broadly due to two facts: their turnover in management and the negative news that they have had over a few years by now.”

ALESSANDRO ROCCATI, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT AT RATINGS AGENCY MOODY’S IN LONDON:

“Top management and board stability are important factors in order to stabilize CS’s franchise and improve its corporate governance. Given the cultural change required to achieve this objective, we expect that this will take some time including dealing with difference in views and challenges along the way. CS’s corporate governance practices have weaknesses and flaws, and its financial, compliance and risk policies were unable to avoid losses on Archegos and customer relationship issues related to Greensill.”

ANDREW COOMBS, NICHOLAS HERMAN, SAIFUR RAHMAN, ANALYSTS, CITI:

“Credit Suisse can ill-afford another scandal after the events of the past two years and yet now finds its chairman, Antonio Horta-Osorio, stepping down after just eight months in the role, after breaching COVID quarantine rules. Ultimately, Mr Horta-Osorio’s time as chairman will go down as a short footnote in Credit Suisse’s long history. Questions were raised about the appropriateness of his appointment (based on his lack of experience in investment andamp;amp; private banking) and the subsequent strategic review met with mixed reviews, but his departure leaves Credit Suisse with a lack of strong characters at the top and leadership questions will likely be raised. The new chairman, Axel Lehmann, is likely to see a return to a more traditional chairman-CEO relationship and he has already insisted in an interview with Reuters that there will be no change to strategy and that the existing management team will remain in place.”

MICHAEL KUNZ, ANALYST, ZURCHER KANTONALBANK:

“Horta-Osorio had already come under public pressure in recent days after he seems to have taken a dim view of travel regulations in the coronavirus era. His successor brings with him extensive experience in the Swiss banking scene. But whether he will succeed in quickly bringing Credit Suisse into calmer waters, so that the bank can once again… Nokia News – Short Summary.

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