This one will drag on and on but Sir Fred Goodwin is a disgrace.
His decision to hang on to his sickeningly large and wholly undeserved pension when thousands of honest, hardworking RBS staff face redundancy in the wake of his incompetence is stomach-turning. In my opinion he is a rat who, having deserted the ship, is now raising an erect mid-digit at the survivors left clinging to the wreckage.
It looks as if he has also benefited from a bit of old-boy-network finagling by his cronies on the then RBS board who seem to have used their “discretion” to ensure that Sir Fred would not go wanting even after forgoing his final year’s salary and bonus. A prime mover in arranging Sir Fred’s pension deal seems to have been Sir Tom Mckillop who has also now been removed for his part in the debacle.
You can read Sir Fred’s response to the request that he waive some of his pension rights here. I feel there is an unpalatable air of smugness when he mentions the “gestures” he has already made and note that whilst he claims to “accept responsibility for that which [he] was responsible for”, he still does not seem sorry for what he has done. But then why would he feel sorry with all that money in his pension pot.
He also says in the letter that:
…to voluntarily accept a reduction in a pension entitlement which has been built up over many years and in other employments in addition to RBS, is not warranted.
So, some of his pension pot was generated by “other employments”. If that is the case then I guess he should be allowed to keep that part of the pension. Even if just the RBS slice was taken back, I’m sure he would still have more to live on each year than the majority of the UK’s pensioners.
The BBC’s profile on Goodwin indicates that he was knighted in 2004 for his services to banking. In which case, 2009 should see him stripped of his knighthood as the banking industry does not need that kind of service and his latter actions are far from what one would consider to be honourable.