Credit Suisse Board of Directors backs CEO, chairman told SonntagsBlick

ZURICH (Reuters) – Credit Suisse’s board of directors is convinced CEO Thomas Gottstein is the right person to strategically realign the bank by reducing risk appetite, the Swiss bank chairman said in an interview to a newspaper published on Sunday.

When asked if he plans to replace Gottstein as CEO or take over the operational management of the bank himself, Antonio Horta-Osorio replied “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,” he said.

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

Horta-Osorio, who took office as chairman in April, said the bank needs to curb its risk appetite and put in place the right incentives, while hiring and supporting staff who share its values.

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

Also present at the interview, Gottstein said it was extremely important for the CEO to work 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 has done a thorough analysis of its balance sheet. “We did not find any case comparable to Greensill or Archegos.”

(Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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