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Ex RBS boss has knighthood shredded

posted 1 Feb 2012, 07:47 by Mpelembe   [ updated 1 Feb 2012, 07:49 ]

Britain has stripped the former head of Royal Bank of Scotland of his knighthood, putting a banker reviled by tabloids as "Fred the Shred" alongside Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe and Romania's Nicolae Ceausescu as those who lost the high honour.

UK-BANKER - It was front page news on almost every British national newspaper.

The former head of the UK's majority state-owned bank RBS has been stripped of his knighthood.

Nicknamed "Fred the Shred" by the tabloids he was honoured by the Queen in 2004 for services to banking.

But he became a target of public fury after RBS needed a 45 billion pound bailout.

The rare decision to take away Goodwin's knighthood was the right one said Britain's finance minister George Osborne.


"This has been an independent decision by an important committee of civil servants and obviously signed off by the Queen. But RBS came to symbolise everything that went wrong in the British economy over the past decade and under Fred Goodwin that's what happened and I think it's appropriate that, therefore, he loses his knighthood. I've said the focus of the current government is to make sure we get back the taxpayers' money that was used to rescue the bank."

But the former Labour finance minister Alistair Darling hit back.


"I'm not here to defend Fred Goodwin, he made huge mistakes with colossal consequences but he wasn't the only knight sitting round the tables of either of the banks that got into trouble and there's others too that I dare say you could point to and I just think that if you're going to get into the situation where knighthoods are given then they're to be taken back because of things that go very wrong in businesses and so on then you need to have clear rules, clear processes at the start."

The news comes a day after current RBS boss Stephen Hester turned down a share bonus of almost £1 million pounds.

Others have also criticised the decision saying Goodwin is a victim of the economic crisis and the current "anti-business hysteria".

They also say he has not committed a crime.

Others who have had the honours taken away include Zimbabwe's disgraced leader, Robert Mugabe, and Romania's Nicolae Ceausescu.

Hayley Platt, Reuters.