Credit Suisse board backs CEO, chairman tells SonntagsBlick

ZURICH : Credit Suisse’s board of directors is convinced Chief Executive Thomas Gottstein is the right person to strategically realign the bank by curbing risk appetite, the Swiss bank’s chairman said in a newspaper interview published on Sunday.

Asked whether he was planning to replace Gottstein as CEO or take over the operational lead of the bank himself, Antonio Horta-Osorio was quoted as replying “no” in the interview with Swiss Sunday newspaper SonntagsBlick.

“I can only say with certainty that Thomas Gottstein has the full confidence of the board of directors,” he said.

“In the difficult phase the bank went through recently, he impressively demonstrated his leadership skills. He is the right man for the strategic realignment of the bank.”

Horta-Osorio, who took over as chairman in April, said the bank had to curb risk appetite and set the right incentives, while also hiring and supporting staff sharing its values.

“(The strategy discussion) is not finished so we cannot talk about it publicly yet,” he said.

Also present at the interview, Gottstein said it was extremely important for the chairman and CEO to work together closely and harmoniously in the current critical phase.

Credit Suisse is trying to rebuild its reputation after suffering huge losses this year with supply chain finance funds linked to Greensill and the collapse of investment fund Archegos.

Gottstein said the bank had thoroughly analysed its balance sheet. “We did not find any cases comparable to Greensill or Archegos.”

(Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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