Millionaire HSBC banker hanged himself over marriage problems
A millionaire HSBC banker hanged himself in a five-star London hotel amid "serious problems" in his marriage, an inquest heard.
Last Updated: 3:34PM GMT 25 Feb 2009
Christen Schnor, who earned a six-figure sum in his job as head of insurance at the bank, grew depressed and committed suicide in his £500-a-night suite at the Carlton Tower Hotel in Knightsbridge in December last year.
He was found in a wardrobe hanging by his belt.
The 49-year-old left a letter written in Danish which suggested problems in his marriage to his wife, Marianne.
Mr Schnor was HSBC's head of insurance for the UK, Turkey, the Middle East and Malta – an arm of the business worth an estimated £750 million in profit.
Today coroner's officer Terry Lovegrove said: "Although a married man, it appears his marriage had been in difficulty for a while."
The millionaire father of four, who drove an Aston Martin to work, had started taking anti-depressants sometime in 2008, the court heard.
He had lived at an address in Lower Sloane Street, Chelsea, before moving to a room in the Carlton Tower Hotel sometime before his death.
His body was found by a chambermaid hanging from a rail in the wardrobe with a noose made out of a leather belt.
Coroner Dr Paul Knapman referred to a note written in Danish which was left on the bed.
Mr Lovegrove agreed that the note "shows, let us say. . .serious marital problems". The inquest heard there was nothing "in all the surrounding details" that suggested problems at work.
The letter was not read in court.
Toxicology tests showed no signs of any drugs other than "therapeutic" levels of an anti-depressant.
The tests showed Mr Schnor had been drinking, with his blood alcohol level one and a half times the drink drive limit.
Dr Knapman recorded that the banker, who was born in Oslo in Norway, and moved to London in 2007 killed himself with the cause of death being hanging.
The coroner said: "Even allowing for the alcohol he has embarked on a course of action, it seems to me, that would require quite a lot of meditation and reflection."