Fred Goodwin, the CEO of Royal Bank of Scotland between 2001 and 2009, will be stripped of his knighthood, the Financial Times reported.Speculation over whether Goodwin would lose the honour arose last week, when UK Prime Minister David Cameron said he would be meeting with the Honours Forfeiture Committee with to discuss whether the disgraced executive should keep his title.
Goodwin was knighted in 2004 for his contributions to the banking industry. In his first eight years at RBS, Goodwin was often credited with many successes the bank enjoyed in expanding its business. Those good times ended when RBS had to take a government bailout in 2008 worth up to £45 billion. The UK government and taxpayers now own 83% of RBS.
The FT sums up public sentiment towards Goodwin since the bailout pretty well:
Public anger over his role in RBS’s 2008 collapse – and his subsequent decision to take a generous pension from the stricken group – made him the bogeyman of the banking industry.
The UK’s Financial Services Authority has conducted two investigations into what caused RBS’ near collapse. The most recent probe found that Goodwin’s “dominant” management style and the fact that he faced very little opposition on the board could have been a potential risk, according to a Bloomberg report.
The move on Goodwin also comes amid public calls from Cameron for banks to cut back on compensation, and public outrage over bonuses for current RBS executives.
Other figures that have lost their knighthood include Anthony Blunt, who was exposed as a Soviet spy, and former Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, according to the FT.