November 20, 2018 / 8:12 AM / 2 years ago

Swiss bank Raiffeisen names Heinz Huber new head

ZURICH, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Swiss cooperative lender Raiffeisen on Tuesday named Heinz Huber its new chief executive as it seeks to turn the page on a series of scandals under previous management.

"We're glad that, in Heinz Huber, we've won an accomplished leader as the new head of our executive management. His entrepreneurial thinking and strength in execution fully convinced the board of directors," Chairman Guy Lachappelle, a turnaround expert who was appointed in September, said in a statement.

Former Chief Executive Patrik Gisel stepped down in November after details of an affair with a former board member exacerbated the pressure he already faced related to a criminal probe into his predecessor, Pierin Vincenz.

Financial market supervisor FINMA said in June it had found serious breaches at Raiffeisen in a probe related to fraud allegations against Vincenz, with whom Gisel had worked for many years before taking over as CEO in 2015.

It told Switzerland's third-largest bank, which is owned cooperatively by 1.9 million customers and is not listed, to conduct a detailed analysis of converting into a limited company, a step that could improve corporate governance.

Huber, 54, has steered Swiss regional lender Thurgauer Kantonalbank since 2014. He will assume his new role at Raiffeisen on Jan. 7.

"I'm looking forward to sharpening Raiffeisen Switzerland's profile and further developing it on behalf of the whole group," Huber said. (Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi)

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