Ex-RBS chief stripped of knighthood

1 February 2012

One of Britain's most senior figures in the banking industry has been stripped of his knighthood for his role in the onset of the economic downturn.

Fred Goodwin, the former head of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), was knighted for his services to banking in 2004, but this honour has now been revoked due to his actions in 2008.

Mr Goodwin led the company into an ill-fated takeover of a Dutch bank despite the high level of instability in the markets at that time and this resulted in the need for the government to spend £45 billion of taxpayers' money to bail RBS out.

This attracted widespread outrage among the British public - a feeling that was compounded by the fact the official, who took up his post at the financier in 2001, also took a substantial taxpayer-funded pension package when he left.

Chancellor George Osborne said it is "appropriate" that Mr Goodwin was stripped of his knighthood on the basis that "RBS came to symbolise everything that went wrong with the British economy".

By Asim Shah

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