The Department of Business has instructed lawyers to see if former Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin has a criminal case to answer following news of alleged breaches in accountancy laws, according to a report in The Telegraph.
According to the report, the head of the insolvency service at BIS is already investigating whether former RBS directors could face civil charges and has asked the legal team to check the criminal allegations as well.
Earlier this week, the FSA, in its report into the near collapse of RBS, admitted there was not “sufficient evidence” to punish the RBS directors under the FSA’s rules. However, Business Secretary Vince Cable said he was investigating the opportunity to press charges.
The Companies Act says directors must be able to disclose their company’s financial position “with reasonable accuracy at any time”.
According to the BIS website, the inability to do this can result in a maximum penalty of between two and 10 years imprisonment and, or including, a fine.