Former RBS chief executive loses knighthood

| February 1, 2012 | 0 Comments
Former RBS chief executive loses knighthood

Fred Goodwin, the former chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), has been stripped of his knighthood for his role in the bank’s collapse during the 2008 credit crunch.

The Queen formally approved the annulment of the honour yesterday, after it was decided Mr Goodwin’s award brought the honours system into disrepute.

The decision is unprecedented as honours have formerly only been withdrawn from people convicted of a crime.

Mr Goodwin was knighted in 2004 for services to banking but his actions during the banking crisis are believed to have contributed to the collapse of RBS.

The bank received £45bn of rescue-funding and is now more than 80% owned by the Government.

The Financial Services Authority and Treasury Select Committee believe the banks’ failure was a key factor in financial crisis and the subsequent recession in the UK.

Mr Goodwin oversaw the takeover of Dutch bank ABN Amro in a £49bn deal which took place at the onset of the credit crunch, exposing RBS’s weak balance sheet and precipitating its collapse.

When Mr Goodwin left the bank in November 2008 his £703,000-a-year pension deal, which included a £2.7m lump sum, led to public outrage.

In the event of a future banking crisis, Britain’s finance ministry will be able to take charge after new law reforming the regulation of the country’s financial system takes effect next year.

The legislation will disband the Financial Services Authority from 2013 and give the central bank the power to supervise banks and insurers.

In a speech following the publication of the draft law, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said: “When taxpayers’ money is at risk in a crisis this legislation gives the Chancellor (of the Exchequer) the power to direct the Bank of England to act.”

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