Fundsmith chief executive Terry Smith has criticised the decision to strip Fred Goodwin of his knighthood, claiming it puts him in line with “traitors, dictators and fraudsters”.
In an open letter to the Financial Times, Smith argues that the doomed takeover of ABN Amro bank was approved by shareholders and that responsibility should be shared with the Royal Bank of Scotland board chaired by Tom McKillop.
He writes: “For Fred Goodwin to follow in the footsteps of traitors, dictators and fraudsters in being stripped of his knighthood seems extreme.
“He did not make the decisions that produced such a disastrous outcome for the Royal Bank of Scotland alone.”
Goodwin’s actions were also supervised by the Financial Services Authority, then chaired by Callum McCarthy, says Smith.
Smith argues that the next appropriate step in ‘appeasing’ the public would be to remove the honorary knighthood bestowed on ex-chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan in 2002.
Greenspan was a staunch defender of derivatives during his time at the Federal Reserve and routinely opposed regulatory measures in the run-up to the financial crisis.