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Sequin | 10:17 UK time, Tuesday, 17 March 2009

I'm watching Lord Myners, the Financial Services minister talking about the 703 thousand pound pension awarded to former RBS boss Sir Fred Goodwin.

MPs on the committee are trying to get him to admit that he made mistakes in the way that he handled the negotiations and that he should have known such a vast sum was being lined up to drop into Sir Fred's pockets.

Lord Myners is insisting he's done nothing wrong. In fact he has just said if he had his time again, he would have acted in the same way.

Fascinating stuff. I need to put my headphones back on and continue listening....


  • 1. At 10:48am on 17 Mar 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Can I share the headphone, Sequin?

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  • 2. At 10:58am on 17 Mar 2009, DI_Wyman wrote:

    Big Sis..a summary ishere.

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  • 3. At 11:05am on 17 Mar 2009, GiulioNapolitani wrote:

    I think Robert Peston put it most succinctly this morning on the 'Today' programme, when he said (umms and errs removed):

    "We need banks to thrive. How do we get them to thrive if we are spending all our time criticising bankers and attacking bankers?"

    Nice one Robert. You are right of course - instead of criticising the likes of Fred Goodwin, we should be patting them on the back and commiserating.

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  • 4. At 11:13am on 17 Mar 2009, GiulioNapolitani wrote:

    Sorry, I posted that on the wrong blog.

    Look! A kitten!

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  • 5. At 11:56am on 17 Mar 2009, madasastickchick wrote:

    I used for work with and for Paul (Lord) Myners. He was meticulous in everything he did, so I find it completely incomprehensible that he didn’t check everything and I for one believe that what he says is true.

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  • 6. At 12:32pm on 17 Mar 2009, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Madas... (5):

    Does that mean that the bank was lying.. sorry... failing to supply him withwhole and complete information?

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  • 7. At 1:07pm on 17 Mar 2009, Verisimilitude100 wrote:

    You can all stop worrying about punishing the bankers, the US cavalry in the form of a Class Action, with no less a personage than Cherie Blair leading the charge on this side of the Atlantic, is about to take place.

    The Scottish Bankers new they were safe in the hands of our Scottish Prime Minister and Chancellor, safe from punishment or retribution, after all Mr Brown and Mr Darling will both require jobs after the next general election.

    I do not think Sir Fred Goodwin will be feeling quite so comfortable in the hands of American Prosecutors.

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  • 8. At 1:15pm on 17 Mar 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Of course Myners new what Fred was going to get as a pay off. The problem is, Myners was a city boy too. It was no more a case than the boys looking after themselves.

    I believe they prepared for the backlash just thinking they could ride it all out, just as they beleived they untouchable, and perhaps still are. What was going to change? However, I don't think they realised the strength and depth of the anger at their financial corruption. Of course they never saw it as corruption, which allowed them to carry on their own sweet way with the blessing of the Government.

    Yes of course the government were behind the banks and the mortgage lending fiasco. The banking system was paying bucket loads into the coffers of the treasury. By hook or by crook what did it matter? Its all business and business must make a profit. There is no right and wrong when so many zeros are involved. In fact, I believe it was purposeful Government policy to throw all that wonga into the housing market, not build enough houses to keep up with demand for reasons beyond me, hence, the ratcheting up of house prices until they become unaffordable. But for what? Can someone enlighten me.

    If you want some more insult to injury, the men (and it is men) who awarded Fred Goodwyn his pension are mostly still in place on the board of RBS-mostly owned by us through Government bailout. The Government have refused to have direct representation the boards of these banks, even though they have a perfect right as the majority share holder. Why? They say the banks are run better by the boards that are in place. The boards that are now being forced to be what the banks should have been all along, aparantly. Call me cynical if you like, I just think its all one big mess by the Government and the Banks, but they can't do the decent thing and hold up their hands and admit their terrible failures. Even the select treasury committee chairman (his name eludes me at the moment), once the voice of truth in the face of the banker's corruption is himself now speaking in terms of hindsight being the operative value. There is no one in my opinion capable of taking the bull by the horns. They all seem too scared. Like they never know when they might need the same system again. After all isn't it only the essence of what they call capitalism that has brought us here?

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  • 9. At 1:31pm on 17 Mar 2009, Charlie wrote:

    "I'm watching Lord Myners, the Financial Services minister talking about the 703 thousand pound pension awarded to former RBS boss Sir Fred Goodwin."

    This whole situation now goes (inevitably?) from bad-to-worse.

    How can such utter incompetance and foolishness exist at the highest levels within both a major UK Bank and Central Government?

    Today (and why only today?), we learn Sir Fred took an advance on his pension of £3 million as a lump-sum payment with the taxation due thereon paid (if I heard correctly) by RBS...

    So, the Government, which effectively owns RBS, allowed the RBS non-government appointed Board, to negotiate Sir Fred's severence package..?

    And look what happens. Unbelievable!


    "Lord Myners said RBS directors had been wrong in assuming they could not reduce Sir Fred's controversial pension deal. He said they had "consistently misdirected themselves" over the issue.
    Sir Fred resigned from RBS in October after the bank needed a government rescue, and has continued to refuse to agree to have his pension reduced...

    He added that Sir Fred had indicated that he may return the £3m advance - but only in exchange for a larger overall pension pot.

    This already stands at £16.9m."

    I'd be shouting for peoples resignations over this but I don't think UK plc could afford their pensions..!

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  • 10. At 1:37pm on 17 Mar 2009, RJMolesworth wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 11. At 1:55pm on 17 Mar 2009, madasastickchick wrote:

    SSC @ 6
    Well Myners is a smart chap so I suspect despite asking all pertinent questions, the answers were provided via smoke & mirrors.

    What I cannot comprehend is why the media continues to focus on this man (and Goodwin) whilst the, I mean OUR Government has managed to keep their collective fingers clean.

    PS: funnyjoedunn seems to have misplaced his sense of humour ...

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  • 12. At 3:05pm on 17 Mar 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Does anyone really believe that Sir Fred could give a toss what anyone thinks? He's collecting his millions, his pals will circle him with wagons, pat him on the back with a "ride it out, old chap" and visit him on his luxury yacht/in his luxury villa in the South of France and happily ignore all the media attention until Jade Goody (poor girl) dies and the papers will turn their attention elsewhere.

    He doesn't care - I'd say he's "laughing all the way to the bank" but I doubt he is dopey enough to go there.

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  • 13. At 3:54pm on 17 Mar 2009, eighty-eight wrote:

    Lord Myners is insisting he's done nothing wrong. In fact he has just said if he had his time again, he would have acted in the same way.

    So Lord Myners has learned nothing from this whole affair? Incredible!

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  • 14. At 3:55pm on 17 Mar 2009, neoGrandad wrote:

    Of course the Government do not understand the finer points of pension funds, they have no need to, as there is no "Pension Fund" for them, they just get a figure, indexed linked, that comes out of our taxes each year. For ever.
    So Sir Fred has taken the option, that we all have of taking a proportion tax free, on retirement. Why wouldn't he? Anybody on final salary scheme has the same oportunity?

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  • 15. At 4:11pm on 17 Mar 2009, mittfh wrote:

    No government would be courageous enough to do this, but how about adding a new tier of income tax...

    Say, 95% on earnings above 1m UKP...

    ...regardless of which country the recipient's bank account is in!

    The IoD would moan like hell, but I think most people would support such a move - and it would certainly help reduce government debt :)

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  • 16. At 4:13pm on 17 Mar 2009, eighty-eight wrote:

    madasastickchick, 11 - It's about time all these people in government (and in positions of power generally, e.g. board members, the FSA, I could go on) learn that it's not the asking of questions that's important, it's the making sure that the answers that they get are complete, accurate, reasonable and correct. If you can't see through the smoke, should you really be doing a job like that?

    Just because the media let politicians get away with not answering the questions that they ask, that isn't justification for our leaders applying the same low standards.

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  • 17. At 4:20pm on 17 Mar 2009, Anne P. wrote:

    mittfh - governments once did have the courage - back in the dim and distance there was something called supertax at 19/6 in the pound if I remember correctly. Don't know what the threshhold was where it kicked in, but well below even the equivalent of £1m I think.

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  • 18. At 4:24pm on 17 Mar 2009, DI_Wyman wrote:

    GiulioNapolitani re your 4.

    I raise you, one fluffy white bunny rabbit.

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  • 19. At 4:35pm on 17 Mar 2009, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Anne (17),

    It featured in "Taxman" from the Beatles,
    "One for me, nineteen for you..."


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  • 20. At 4:59pm on 17 Mar 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Madchick (11)

    This bloke walks in to a bar and says,


    It was an iron bar.

    Ta dah!

    No its still where I left it (my sense of humour).

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  • 21. At 5:28pm on 17 Mar 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Madchick (11)

    My post at (8) was a serious comment...not humorous.

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  • 22. At 5:45pm on 17 Mar 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    (21) fJd: if you could make your posts a little briefer, no offence, but perhaps they would be more properly read?

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  • 23. At 5:50pm on 17 Mar 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    If I may wilfully mix two news items?

    Looking for a target AND Sir Fred?


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  • 24. At 6:04pm on 17 Mar 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    LS (22)

    No offence, but I find your comment patronising. Its my fault that you misread. So Also, unlike some, I don't need anyone else to speak on my behalf.

    I take your point though.

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  • 25. At 6:32pm on 17 Mar 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    (24) fJd: thanks for saying you take my point. I can only apologise if my comment sounded patronising, not meant to at all!

    I don't "misread". I simply don't read such a l-o-n-g post. I sort of "skim through", which means I am in danger (I admit, mia culpa) of missing your point. It does get a bit lost.

    I find most of your posts interesting, for all sorts of reasons.

    Apologies again if I have offended. Not intended.

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  • 26. At 6:55pm on 17 Mar 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    LS (25)

    Thank you also. I can tend to sail off at times expecting others to kind of follow. I also find your posts interesting too, intelligent, often witty,which I like. I guess its trying to find a balance between a certain depth of debate and just so much verbal air. Still finding that balance.


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  • 27. At 7:40pm on 17 Mar 2009, sweynh wrote:

    Fascinating stuff indeed.

    Of course, it was the bank's directors' responsibility to determine the matter of the pension due to their departing chief executive, And of course, no one in government could be expected to find out the full information on this matter as part of the negotiations to rescue the bank with public money, and it is impossible to imagine that anyone in government might actually have learned what was going on, either. No.

    So that probably means that the Facebook group called "What would YOU spend £700K a year of public money on?" has probably entirely missed the point.

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