Goodwin created a national scandal after walking away from RBS with a £16m pension even after bringing the historic bank to the brink of collapse. But now, three months later, he has done the right thing (sort of).
Goodwin, who was blamed for leaving RBS in such a mess that the Government had to take over 70 per cent of the business to avoid bankruptcy, has been in hiding since being allowed to walk away with the mammoth pension.
RBS chairman Sir Philip Hampton has been calling for Fred to hand back the pension since March, along with Prime Minister Gordon Brown. RBS even began assembling a legal case against its former chief, headed up by none other than Cherie Blair.
But now Sir Fred has relented and has handed back £200,000 a year, meaning he will only receive a paltry £342,000 a year for the rest of his life. He is also keeping the £2.7m lump sum he withdrew from the scheme when he left RBS.
Last year research from Fidelity reckoned the average hard-working Brit receives just £215 a week from their pension – Sir Fred will receive just under £1000 a day.
Is this a victory? Will the British public feel like justice has been done? Intelligent Pensions technical director David Trenner doesn’t think so: “Sir Fred Goodwin’s case has brought company pensions into disrepute at a time when they need all the help they can get.
“BP and Barclays have just announced the closure of their final salary pension schemes, and I am sure that for each member of their staff who has been disenfranchised there will be a member of the public at large who will be saying that the ending of these pension schemes for the likes of Sir Fred Goodwin cannot come too soon.”
So what do you think of the whole affair? Goodwin worked for more than 20 years, holding several executive positions – does that give him the right to leave with a pension to reflect that?
What about the other chief executives who headed up failed banks – the likes of Andy Hornby and Adam Applegarth – should these men be allowed to come out of the industry with pensions that the rest of us can only dream about?
Also, by handing back some of the pension, has Goodwin proved his guilt? Should RBS continue its fight and try and claim back the rest of the pot?
Tell us what you think of Sir Fred and his pension scandal by commenting below.