The former chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland could be in danger of losing his knighthood, the Guardian reports.At the end of a keynote speech about promoting a new responsible, popular capitalism in the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron showed he was sympathetic to calls to strip Sir Fred Goodwin (unendearingly nicknamed “Fred the Shread”) of his knighthood, and the matter would be referred to the honours forfeiture committee.
“Obviously [the committee] will want to take account of the Financial Services Authority report which I think is material and important because of what it says about the failures of RBS and what went wrong and who is responsible and the rest of it,” Cameron said.
Goodwin was at the helm of RBS when it was nationalized in 2008 after making a £24.1 billion ($37.3 billion) loss. The bank had to be kept afloat with £45 billion ($70 billion) of taxpayers’ money and is still 83 per cent owned by the state, according to the Daily Mail.
However, Goodwin could be let off the hook on a technicality. The decision to revoke knighthood rests solely with the committee, not the Prime Minister. The committee normally only considers cases where an individual has been jailed for more than three months or has been censured by a professional organisation, the Press Association reports.
Conservative MP Matthew Hancock hopes an exception will be made in this case. “The knighthood given to him by Gordon Brown is inappropriate for someone who was reckless at the helm of one of Scotland’s oldest institutions,” Hancock told the Daily Mail.
In a further blow to Goodwin, Cameron also called for restricting the bonuses at RBS and Lloyds to £2,000 ($3,100) for a second year, although the remuneration committee of RBS had yet to take a final decision, the Guardian reports.