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Fred Goodwin to receive £650,000 for life

Robert Peston | 21:45 UK time, Wednesday, 25 February 2009

This is a story that very briefly left me lost for words (and please don't say "long may it last").

Authoritative sources have told me that Sir Fred Goodwin, the former chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland - who is widely blamed for the colossal mess it's in - is already drawing a pension of £650,000 a year.

He's only 50 and he's got it for life. His pension pot, which generates the pension, is worth a handsome £16m.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, when I informed the Treasury we were about to run this striking story, I was told that ministers were very unhappy about the generous terms of Sir Fred's early retirement package.

So UK Financial Investments - the offshoot of the Treasury which manages taxpayers' stakes in our big banks - is investigating, with RBS's board, whether there is any way of clawing back some of the pension entitlement (see below for a full copy of a statement given to me by the Treasury).

Now before you pull your hair out, I should mention that Sir Fred didn't take any money by way of compensation from RBS when he left the bank.

And his entitlement to a pension at 50, in the event that he was asked to leave RBS, was an arrangement put in place some years ago and applied to other directors too.

Even so, the disclosure that he's set up very nicely for life will spark some controversy.

After all, RBS will confirm tomorrow that it made record losses for a British bank last year of around £8bn before a massive writedown of goodwill on the takeover of the toxic rump of the Dutch bank, ABN.

And after the goodwill writedown, Royal Bank's losses could be as high as £28bn, a record for any bank.

Its woes of course have led to it being rescued by us, by taxpayers.

We have a 70 per cent stake in RBS and we're about to insure the bank against future losses on £250bn of dodgy loans and investments.

The terms of that unprecedented insurance will also be unveiled tomorrow.

My understanding is that RBS will pay a fee in the form of non-voting shares equivalent to around 2 per cent of the insured assets, so over the five-year life of the scheme we as taxpayers would receive a further stake in RBS worth up to £20bn.

But we may well incur substantial losses on that £250bn.

It's not beyond the realms off possibility that future losses on those impaired assets could be £50bn.

If RBS's existing shareholders were to take the first 5 per cent loss, which seems likely on the basis of the current state of talks between the bank and the Treasury, that would generate a £12.5bn hit for the bank and its shareholders

But 90 per cent of the rest of the loss would fall on the Exchequer, on us as taxpayers - so there could be a total loss for us of up to £33.75bn.

So it's against that background, of taxpayers giving enormous, unprecedented support to this damaged bank, that Goodwin's £650,000 for life may upset a few of you.

PS Here is the Treasury's statement:

"Since they became aware of this issue UKFI have been vigorously pursuing with the new Chairman whether there is any scope for clawing back some or all of this pension entitlement and whether the Board took the decision in the full knowledge of the facts.

UKFI has agreed with RBS that the bank will review all aspects of Sir Fred's tenure in office with a view to testing to the full any potential for legal redress, including the potential for recouping pension provision.

This is another example of the culture of rewards for failure that we are determined to sweep away for the future.

We are committed to cleaning up the banking system - both the financial balance sheets of the banks and behaviour of those who lead them."

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    What can Rahere say when you've already seen the analysis of the Citibank vector behind this?
    They owe the UK nothing and if their circle can add to the pain, why not, that's their viewpoint.

  • Comment number 2.

    This is not going to go down well with the less fortunate retired people whose savings interest has shrunk by 80 per cent and who are now having to draw on capital to meet their daily needs.

    I hope that the Treasury manage to claw some back - no failure needs that much to live on.

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.

    Utterly speechless!!!

  • Comment number 5.

    This sort of thing is immoral and not in the public interest yet it is not illegal.

    How does that work?

    Jericoa

  • Comment number 6.

    Presumably Fred needs the money for myopia treatment. His short sighted purchase of ABN has to be the worst deal in Corporate history. Unfortunately his dictatorial arrogance and stunning self belief that he was always right turned out to be his biggest weakness. I pity the poor staff and shareholders in RBS - many have lost life savings and their lives are in tatters.

  • Comment number 7.

    It's been six months now since this started and not a single dossier has been opened on any of those responsible.

    You can fool all of the people some of the time, you can fool some of the people all of the time, but you're not going to survive if you try that in these circumstances .

  • Comment number 8.

    Just remove his pension from him. Every last penny. Many normal citizens have seen their pension pots taken by unscrupulous business leaders, so there's clearly a precedent...

  • Comment number 9.

    This must never be allowed to happen again.

  • Comment number 10.

    I would let him keep his £650k provided he agreed to put up £450k of it to invest in the start-ups and spin-outs that he refused to support whilst he was at RBS.

  • Comment number 11.

    Well done again Robert, for bringing this to attention of (even) the owners of the bank!

  • Comment number 12.

    Now, now Robert, Don't think of it as £650,000 a year for life, just think of it as 'quantitative easing'...

  • Comment number 13.

    Robert...

    Isn't this guy also on a retainer at the moment to the bank as a consultant?

  • Comment number 14.

    Great, lets all bring the country to its knees and retire on £10,000 a week plus. It makes you sick and where this time the bankers have to be sorted out. Absolutely disgusting considering the knock-on effect of this man's part in the huge UK job losses and the lives of tens of thousands destroyed through shares becoming more or less worthless. The man should have been be given the boot and asked to pay back losses to the taxpayer. What are these politicians all about also. It appears to me that they too live on planet zooto by allowing this, even though it was a preordained fix behind closed doors. Did the shareholders sanction this has to be the question. I very much doubt it !

  • Comment number 15.

    This cannot be allowed to happen.
    Are we also to believe that no one in government new anything about this before today.
    This is just rubbing dirt in the face of the taxpayer.

  • Comment number 16.

    Well, I'm upset.

    There's not much that can be done when shareholders are determined to throw vast sums of their own money at an incompetent elite.

    But when the bill for that incompetence is laid at my door, as taxpayer then I have every right to expect the incompetent elite to foot some of the bill too.

    I earn less than 20,000 a year, which has to support a family of two adults and three children. It's already a daily struggle. Why should I face decades of massive tax hikes to sort out the shambles made by this man, while he luxuriates on 650,000 a year, tax free?

    I'm still waiting for any political party or leader to suggest an alternative to the corrupt and corrupting political/economic structures of the last two decades. We've been ripped off. I hope they soon stop talking about "restoring" the system (at the taxpayers expense), and start talking about REPLACING it.

    "Cometh the hour, cometh the (wo)man." But not just yet, it seems.

  • Comment number 17.

    Robert, are you suffering from a cold? You sounded rather muted and choked on the news.

  • Comment number 18.

    Yes, but once again, WHY ARE WE SUPPOSED TO BE SURPRISED, SHOCKED, OUTRAGED, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BY ANY OF THIS?

    Just keep paying up, fellow plebs. We are utterly powerless to stop this stuff.

    Ask MPs for a few tips, Fred. They'll advise you on how to add "expenses" to your package.

  • Comment number 19.

    Robert,
    I am nonplussed by this report. Either you are completely out of touch as Goodwin's pension prospects were well known or this is a political ploy on behalf of the government in view of Thursday's RBS results announcement??? As taxpayers, we are now suffering from the fond way that business/economic journalists, investment community and govt ministers pandered to RBS over the years when the Bank was a potential bomb waiting to go off. No one complained as long as the Bank contributed billions of tax to the exchequer. Goodwin was at the heart of the RBS demise but trying to preach about his pension now when it was based on all those profits of previous years seems somewhat contrived for other reasons.

  • Comment number 20.

    I doubt that £16m will buy an index linked pension of £650k for life starting at age 50. Unfortunately the Pension Calculator on the FSA web site is
    "currently out of service while we work on an updated version."
    so your figure can't be quickly checked.
    Perhaps the current version of FSA pension planning software can't deal with the size of pension and early retirement arrangements that bankers appear to need.
    Don't forget that Fred can also take a tax free lump sum as well from his pension fund!

  • Comment number 21.

    Why do criminals bother?
    Why go to all that effort and risk of burglary, shoplifting or fraud?
    Just get a job in a bank.

  • Comment number 22.

    there are no quick fixes

  • Comment number 23.

    The expansion policy of RBS (key acquisitions approved by regulators) brought corportion tax profits of £16.531bn over last 10 years - source: RBS accounts. Prior to that, RBS paid £310m a year.
    Had RBS not gone an expansion path, the best that could have been acheived - assuming a (generous) flat rate of 10% annual growth in taxable profits through this period - corporation tax would have been £5.2bn. In other words, the taxpayer is £11.2bn up in corporation tax receipts as a direct result of the expansion. If you add in employers NIC and tax on RBS share distributions - at one point, provided £1 in every £7 to UK shareholders - RBS still represents a net gain to the UK taxpayer. The bargain basement price of government held RBS shares will represent a substantial profit downsteam. Find me a CEO who will create an additional £11bn for taxpayers over 10 years......whatever you think of Goodwin, I suggest his pension represents a miniscule return on the overall performance - and dare I say it, a pretty good return for the taxpayer.

  • Comment number 24.

    Would Fred receive his £650K pa pension if we had not saved the banks? i.e. we let them go into administration?

    Should we as (i.e. the country as majority shareholder) actually prefer this to happen - I would vote for administration rather than this pension being paid.

    How many other pensions are being supported by propping up the banks?

    Would it not have been cheaper (and fairer) for the country and the economy to have let capitalism work?

    It's assumed that we had to save the banks? Did we? We had to protect depositors or there would have been a run on the banks, but other than the depositors I do not understand why we took this course of action.





  • Comment number 25.

    RBS Goodwin's pension of £650,000 per year equals several generations wages of most RBS customers?
    I feel physically sick about this immorality.

  • Comment number 26.

    How was the figure of a pension fund of £16 million calculated?

    If on a final salary basis, you've worked this out on the pension of £650,000 per annum, either you've got this completely wrong or the actuaries at RBS are going to have to announce some mind-bogglingly huge adjustments to their deficit in the next few months.

    Do the maths, and look at annuity rates. £16 million will not buy you a RPI linked pension of £650,000 per annum with spouses benefits, at age 50. No way.

    As a ballpark figure, this capital calculation is some 40% out. He might get a value of £16 million if he'd transferred his pension out, but it would take a lot lot more than that to buy an income of £650,000 per annum.

    I hope he's applied for transitional protection before the final 5 April deadline for the sake of his other pension funds...

  • Comment number 27.

    So the punishment for destroying a 300 year old national institution and burdening the country with vast debts for generations to come is... £650,000 a year for life.

    The man should be grateful he's free, which is more than he deserves. Now excuse me while I go back to work so I can earn some taxes to pay for this failure's pension.

  • Comment number 28.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 29.

    Unless the government actually set the ball rolling with a full investigation and giving it the powers to prosecute I see no way of them claiming back any of that pension pot, unless they make him take it in shares.

    It was the job of the regulator and the people who controlled the regulators to ensure that the banks were working within reasonable guidelines

    Without those guidelines is it any wonder that RBS took such a huge punt. If it had come off Sir Fred would be being greeted as a hero (aka Sir James Crosby) and Brown would be lapping up the tax from all the bonuses.

    Whilst I agree with your incredulity now, when the horse is well and truly out of the county, is not really the time to click your fingers and hope that you can stop the loss

  • Comment number 30.

    Tricky one this. Pensions are contractual and are independent of the employer who provides it - trustees set the rules. So, any member of any pension fund is entitled to the entitlement they have built up via years of employment and final salary. So, folks, no matter how incompetent the person was in the job, their pension is ring fenced.

  • Comment number 31.

    in china he would have a bullet..in the UK we give him an annual pension at 50 that is more than a lot of people earn in a lifetime......Have these people no shame?

  • Comment number 32.

    "Fred Goodwin to receive £650,000 for life"

    Why am I not surprised?

    That said, further words still simply fail me...

  • Comment number 33.

    You know well Govt now owns only 58% of RBS and it is possible that Prefs conversion leads shareholders to take up new shares.
    If so this would push govt ownership back to 48%.
    Today , if 2010 resumption of dividends is at 7p / share....then that is an oportunity for 30% rate of return for those who can wait 15 months. It also points to a possible share price of around 95 P within a year. ( 380% profit on todays share price)
    With toxic assets ringfenced profits of £5B in 2009 and £7b in 2010 are probable.
    It is irresponsible to incorrectly announce the % govt ownership. It adds to mass hysteria.
    It also reduces my chance ( as a loyal shareholder investing for my pension) of an affordable old age. The core business is sound and Goodwins efforts to have a large footprint n Asia were not stupid. It may be that dishing that prospect proves to be stupid.
    It is in the interests of shareholders to prevent this dilution. It is your job to present a balanced view and point that out. With the turnaround plan clear & job nearly done, it is just possible that RBS has a template that begins to spread confidence .......throughout the banking world.

  • Comment number 34.

    Speechless doesnt cover it. I'm not a religious person, but greed is definitely at the root of this evil. Does this man have no self respect or is he so deluded that he believes he deserves this kind of pension? Why is the government so powerless to prevent this in light of the amount of our money they've sunk into this bank? If we were French we'd be out on the streets protesting! Mr. Goodwin probably knows we Brits will have a bit of a 'tut' and stoically move on to the next disaster, leaving him to enjoy his retirement (in the Carribbean no doubt)

  • Comment number 35.

    £650,000 per annum pension for RBS banker Goodwin. I have no acceptable words, just a complete state of shock and now loss of purpose or interest in our so-called society!

  • Comment number 36.

    Perhaps we as tax payers could sue for compensation for the losses we are suffering as a result of what might be considered hisnegligence & failure to exercise due care with the nations money and reputation.

    His pension funds .. he has more than one I'd wager .. plus his houses and cars might not be much towards the huge losses but it will send a huge message to his successors.

  • Comment number 37.

    I am as many people gob smacked and disappointed to hear that the a Banker (Sir Godwin) is getting a £650k a year pension. What is even worse is the hand wringing of the politicians. Well I have two ideas to claw back the money:

    Idea 1
    =====
    I hear that the banks are going to spin off the bad assets into a seperate bank. Well why not spin off the good assets into a new bank and leave the bad assets and liabilities including bankers bonus liability and pensions in old bank.Maybe we do what lots of companies are doing. Declaring the bank bankcrupt and then creating a new bank to buy the good assets on the cheap! Given this is probably legal under current law and everyone knows what is happening this will probably not be too risky though a radical solution

    Idea 2
    =====
    Change the law to create a Personal Income Windfall tax! Maybe we can sell this format as we sell TV Formats (Strictly come Dancing) to the yanks and then to other countries!

    --
    Regards

    Dilip

  • Comment number 38.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 39.

    Another banker bandit walking with a pension a train-robber might have dreamt of?

  • Comment number 40.

    RE Post 29- I agree with your comments, but could we stop this by actually letting RBS go ... would that stop the pension payments - i would be interested on better informed (than me) comments on this...

    This whole crisis has been based on an assumption that we cannot let the banks go, and therefore they continue to play hard ball, look at the telegraphs headline today, Lloyds insisting that Pref shares are converted...what negotiating position should they have?

    I believe if we let the market play we would not be in this mess (I'm not talking about CDO's there are clearly big issues on how on eath they were valued/audited).



  • Comment number 41.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 42.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 43.

    Dear God!

    Are we totally devoid of morality in this country.

    No wonder the police are worried about a summer of mass rioting - this all reminds me of the corrupt arrogance of the Shah & his regime.

    Might we see a similar reaction, as was seen in Tehran, throughout the UK this August?

  • Comment number 44.

    Robert,

    You are speechless, I am not speechless. This man has no shame, he leaves a Bank that has been bailed out by the public, to live a comfortable life unlike most pensioners who will not be living in the same fashion. It beats me that a person can actually accept this vulgar amount of money after creating financial hardship and chaos.
    If I could find a way in which I could leave this country and live elsewhere, I would do it. This country exists in a haven of insanity.

  • Comment number 45.

    strongholdbarricades you've done it again!

  • Comment number 46.

    I am one of a number of staff/former staff members who have seen their life savings disappear because of this idiot who walks away with £650,000 a year for life.

    I hope he sleeps well knowing the ruin he has caused.

  • Comment number 47.

    I think there needs to be a new higher higher rate of tax for retired board room bankers. I would suggest a rate of 95%.

  • Comment number 48.

    I'm not sure at the surprise; but grateful for the publicity. Could you ask UK Financial Investmenst why they were not aware of this (must have been in the accounts) and what they are doing to investigate other such excesses - and clawing them back.

    In this context I would be interested in their thoughts of how to claw back excessive payments made over the last 10 years - which have resulted in the huge liabilities which the UK taxpayer is facing.

    Or will they just investigate those which the media points out?????

  • Comment number 49.

    I am not sure why anyone is really surprised by this information. It is also well known that Fred Goodwin was not even the highest paid employee at RBS ? The net should be spread wider than just the board of the company to understand the full extent of the salaries and pension arrangements. If the government were to release that information, it would highlight how obscene some of the salaries were and still are.

  • Comment number 50.

    There is one good aspect to this: before now, the average punter didn't really think much about the remuneration of the high-flying few. As long as we were doing "ok", we didn't seem to mind too much that others were doing fabulously well. In fact we allowed it as their reward for us doing "ok". Now we see that they are still doing fabulously well, even after it is plain to see that we are NOT doing "ok". Now we see the naked greed for what it really is. Now we see the face of evil (what else can you call this sort of behaviour while the country suffers?). Rise up fellow peasants!

  • Comment number 51.

    Sir Fred 'the shred'.. has feathered his nest, and can live in luxury for the rest of his life.. and it is a complete scandal. Well done Robert for bringing it out into the open...

  • Comment number 52.

    " I did nothing wrong", "I did nothing illegal", "I didn't see this coming" So I'm off with more pension than you'll ever earn!

    Sounds about right in this country.

    What else could you expect from a banker?

  • Comment number 53.

    I'm really going to be interested in the arguments in the first 28 comments that are still being moderated when 29 gets to be published first.

  • Comment number 54.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 55.

    I have been serioulsy upset By the way RBS have behaved over bonus payments etc - this news re Goodwin's pension is last straw !! Am DEFINATELY MOVING MY ACCOUNT after some 40 plus years.. be interested to hear if any more feel the same

  • Comment number 56.

    I see #29 StrongholdBarricades is a Party member and has first right of reply...

  • Comment number 57.

    RBS Goodwin's £650,000 per annum crawl away pension? No way! Taxpayers have to see this man in court .. if not, why not?!

  • Comment number 58.

    I have been seriously upset By the way RBS have behaved over bonus payments etc - this news re Goodwin's pension is last straw !! Am DEFINATELY MOVING MY ACCOUNT after some 40 plus years.. be interested to hear if any more feel the same

  • Comment number 59.

    The simple answer to these excesses is to legislate to prevent company directors' receiving indirect rewards such as this. They should only be permitted to receive direct salary payments, at whatever level the shareholders approve. If shares are part of the remuneration they should be purchased in trust from the salary awarded.

  • Comment number 60.

    For one happy moment I read 'Fred Goodwin gets life'. Seriously though, more regulations, more quangos, more complications, more overheads and they'll still all be worked around. Keep it simple - if you are or have been a director, exec or non exec of a financial institution in the past 5 years that has had to call on tax payers' money to be rescued - you are personally liable for the debts, end of story. Then they'll self regulate you can be sure of that,

    Yours Aye,

    Graucho

  • Comment number 61.

    'Since they became aware'. What is wrong with getting ahead of the curve for once, it cannot be that difficult. If you are getting rid of somebody at that level it is not hard to think, I wonder what the bill will be.

  • Comment number 62.

    no wonder he doesn't mind being blamed for his part in our downfall.

  • Comment number 63.

    Well we all know what will happen now, they will trot out there is a legal reason why they cant do anything about his pension

    gets better everyday this

    emergency methods are needed now

  • Comment number 64.

    Any CEO who has been at a FTSE 100 for some time is likely to have built up a huge final salary pension pot.

    This is not breaking news!

  • Comment number 65.

    Long may Sir Fred enjoy his pension pot at least while it lasts - though one may well ask why the man who supposedly 'saved the world' didn't see this coming?

    The sad fact for Sir FG - and for us for that matter - is that the whole world economy will soon collapse, in which case everyone's pension pots will be obliterated.

    It is a sobering thought that Japan's stockmarket hit 40,000 20 years ago and then crashed, fluctuating at the 20,000 or so level before crumbling and today remains no more than 7,500, which means anybody who invested in that market over the longterm has seen massive losses, i.e. no retirement pot, nothing. Our economists have happily glossed over this fact, believing that this was an anomaly. It isn't - this will be the global reality for us all.

  • Comment number 66.

    Could somebody please clarify something for me.
    Banks pay corporation tax on their profits with the former being circa 30%.
    So do they get tax rebates in a year when they make losses?
    If that is the case that means that for a bank which typically made a loss of £100 billion it would get repaid approximately £30 billion anyway without any strings - before any bailout by the government?
    Please tell me there is a flaw in the reasoning somewhere!

  • Comment number 67.

    Just saw John McFall on Newsnight talking about the FSA hearing today at the select committee in the Houses of Parliament ....he was hopelessly out of his depth, inarticulate and didn't even know what UKFI stood for!....this is the bloke that heads up the Treasury Select Committee. He's a joke....but that's probably why he was selected for the job.

    Oh...and of course...he said none of it was Gordon Brown's fault.

  • Comment number 68.

    Goodwin should be forced to repay some of the outrageous remuneration and benefits he has received as the accounts on which they were based were clearly a figment of imagination.

    Has the man no shame?He could easily give back £10m and still live a life of luxury.

  • Comment number 69.

    Here are 3 things that could be done:-

    1. Make the pension pot totally the responsibility of the shareholders.
    2. Stop paying the pension and wait for him to have the nerve to sue.
    3. or retrospectively make him personally responsible for 10% of the banks losses.

    Its time for punishment and this man seems to be running blindly to the guillotine just as he blindly managed the RBS.

  • Comment number 70.

    Why so surprised ? All captains of industry have their pension pot sorted out as you should know . Don't be so amateur dramatic clubish ! You are being alarmish and scaremongering again Robert.

  • Comment number 71.

    Robert
    Why just this guy, others got payoffs and have pension pots too.

    Why are you surprised

    do an internet search

    13/10/2008 BBC article
    13/10/2008 scotsman article
    24/1/2009 guardian article
    22/2/2009 thisismoney

    I looked it up because I remember the previous discussions.

    OK, so the calculations were based on 2007 fund details but the order of magnitude is there. The contributions up to 2007 cannot be questioned. They will be based on salary in previous years.

    On a slightly different note, depending on how the pension arrangements are established, its quite possible that Goodwin will have to pay 55% tax on much of the payments. It depends on whether this pot is in a pension fund or whether some is unfunded. It will also depend on what was recorded at A day in 2006.

    Of course any share options he might have are so far under water he might as well burn them. If there were long-dated performance share type thingies, the company won't be meeting is shareholder reward targets, so they will be worthless.

    Anyway, you could write the article as

    At a minimum 40% tax rate, Goodwin makes useful 260,000pa contribution to the inland revenue. Say he lives for 30 years that would be 7,800,000 in total. Not enough maybe but better than a poke in the eye with a burnt stick.

    My husband tells me that the world is divided into me me me's and cleverdicks. I am perhaps being a clever dick. Sorry

  • Comment number 72.

    RBS £650,000 PENSION PER ANNUM? Goodwin is laughing all the way from the bank he destroyed!
    There now appears little point for any citizen in the UK to pay into a pension. Why ..? .. well, come the day, someone will have cleaned it out just before they move the goal posts for us pond life (as we are described by the bankers).

  • Comment number 73.

    How many years did Sir Fred put in at RBS to qualify for such a handsome pension? And what kind of things might a fifty year old spend twelve and a half grand a week on?

  • Comment number 74.

    (Expletive Deleted) to the power n!

    If ordinary legal remedies fail, then we need a special windfall failed bankers tax. Strip the knighthood, and charge him in full for the police protection he is bound to need.

    For the future, make directors of any public company personally liable for losses incurred. Why should their position be any better than those who trade as an individual? Those who manage other people's money should be more, not less, careful than those who just manage their own.

  • Comment number 75.

    There seems to be a misunderstanding of what a pension is.

    It is not a bonus people get on retirement, it is part of their pay that is kept back from them by their company while they work, and only returned to them once they stop working. For those of us with company pensions, it is money that we lend to our employers from our pay packages in the hope of getting it back with interest on retirement.

    Whether Sir Fred deserved his salary over his years at RBS is a conversation worth having. Whether he deserves his pension is pointless - it is his to keep, not RBS' to give.

  • Comment number 76.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 77.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 78.

    I retired from my post as an RBS branch manager 12 months early (age 59) after being diagnosed with cancer. I had completed 24 years service. My final salary scheme has netted me just £7,900 per annum. If Sir Fred's retirement package has rendered Robert Peston speechless, I'm struck dumb too!

  • Comment number 79.

    What other comment but "disgusting" !

    What needs to be actioned promptly is a some legislation which makes all senior business appointments liable long term for their actions and it has to be retrospective.

    It should not be expensive for the shareholders or the business who have taken over the organisation to chase these people down either.

    These guys have to answer for what they have done!

    Dave












  • Comment number 80.




    Someone (Robert) should also ask about the financial situation of the RBS Pension Fund for the rest of the staff. We could have walked into a far bigger liability than the Government thought.

    Due Diligence was not a word on Minister's lips when they "brought" RBS. It's a disgrace. Pig in a poke would sum it up.

  • Comment number 81.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 82.



    The government seems short of ideas on how to stop Fred from spoiling the bailout party.

    I suggest laying on a special (rendition) flight for Fred to Morocco......where he can enjoy the sun and live cheaply........thus no longer needing a pension.

  • Comment number 83.

    Whatever they try to do, I bet he has a solid contract. He is laughing all the way to the bank

  • Comment number 84.

    I think you'll find it not unusual for directors of PLC's to have awarded themselves (through their tame house pets i.e. non-execs on the remuneration committee) huge pension entitlements.

    In addition to of course huge salaries, bonuses and share plans.

    The pensions are a bit less obvious, and when their packages are occasionally quoted pension accruals are a bit too complicated to refer to by journalists.

    Afterall it's only our pension funds, which are the main shareholders in these companies, paying for it, and our gormless fund managers are not so gormless as to not realise that they have a vested interest in ensuring huge remuneration packages. Their packages, which they earn for losing our money, then don't look so obscene.

    There are numerous examples of directors paying themselves millions each year for poor performance.

    Look at BT's former CEO for example and compare with BT's current share price and the fiasco in its Global Services Division. BT also had a Labour baroness and daughter of a former Labour prime minister on its Board!

  • Comment number 85.

    What an absolute disgrace!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    You're shocked?
    I'm speechless

  • Comment number 86.

    This is just another example of the greed in which we have come to expect from the failed financial system in the UK in which these selfish arrogant parasites who managed these banks still take obscene unjustified amounts of undeserved rewards while genuine hard working people loose everything. Don't expect the motley crew of Gorden Brown and his sorry army to stop this abuse of power of the bankers, the only time the government will act if there was a rumbling of civil unrest. In the coming months this will be the case when the greed of the few could be taken back by the many.

  • Comment number 87.

    DON’T BE FOOLED BY THE IDEA THAT THE FINANCIAL CRISIS WAS CAUSED BY A FEW UNSCRUPULOUS BANKERS’ MISTAKES. THE BANKERS’ WERE CERTAINLY NO NOVICES, THE KNEW EXACTLY WHAT THEY WERE DOING.

    Let’s get it clear. The unscrupulous bankers were the geniuses who dreamed up Colateral Loan Obligations (CLOs) and all types of similar products to make them a fortune. They even awarded themselves for their innovation by accepting these massive bonuses, with no concern for the people they robbed. These guys, made no mistakes. They knew exactly what they were doing. They dreamed up the financial system in which they were operating. In order to make themselves enormous amounts of money they had to know what you are doing. Don’t be fooled by Gordon’s idea that a few bankers made a mistake or that it was all a global problem. These guys, most certainly are no Novices.

    CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE AND CONSTRUCTIVE TRUST WILL DO THE TRICK

    In principle and in Law there is no excuse for their conduct most foul, they were in possession of a Constructive Notice and Constructive Trust.

    Confidence and Stability will only return when there is proper regulation backed with enforcement of law.

  • Comment number 88.

    The system is hugely corrupt, non-execs vote in compensation packages for directors, and guess what the same non-execs get similar packages as directors in other businesses. At the same time shareholders in pension funds don't object as they expect similar. Meantime, the small investor and the "little" people are paying for it all.

    Scandalous.

    Well done Robert.

  • Comment number 89.

    Bob, you still amaze me.

    Even more concerning, is the extent of auto moderation and most likely manual moderation this blog is exposed to, therefore I'll keep it clean.

    -Contract with Goodwin subject to legalities will not be changeable. Signed under contract law remember.

    HMRC, will it should be remembered, take 40% of said pension. Therefore the expressed figure it fantastical and emotionally charged, when discussed so generally in the press.

    Not to speculate too much, but this is surely a cheap price to ensure his tight lips and prevent further political problems for the current government, given the gagging order.

    Why is it that 99% of the UK population want to see a single severed head rather than a mass grave of responsibility. The other 1% appreciate that a bank with £2Trn of assets that declares losses even at £28 Bn represents small beer, but then I am from North of the border.

    Move onto more relevant reporting. The horror show is now over for the bank directors and just about to start for those involved within our selected government.

  • Comment number 90.

    Staggering.

    Even if he had proved brilliant at his job, this sort of reward is not justified. As a total failure, he should locked up in the tower.

    Most of us go to work and do our best for our employers and colleagues. Even a humble cleaner, char lady or office goffer makes an important contribution.

    Just because bankers handle large sums of money, why do they think they justify so much more than the cleaner or char lady? It is just a job.

    This is crazy.

  • Comment number 91.

    OUR SOLDIERS ARE DYING ABROAD RIGHT NOW, AND RBS GOODWIN GETS £650,000 EVERY YEAR IN A PENSION.
    DO YOU FEEL HELPLESS AND PHYSICALLY SICK? YES, THAT WOULD BE RIGHT... DON'T YOU THINK? BUT HOW DO YOU FIX SUCH A DISGUSTING PROBLEM? ANY IDEAS CHAPS?

  • Comment number 92.

    Bob, either you are we are being treated like children it appears. Excerpt from moderation explanation:-

    Pre-moderation - every single message is checked before it appears on the board. All of the BBC's children's message boards are supervised in this way.


    Hmm...................................

  • Comment number 93.

    Robert, I too am speechless.

    Only £650k per annum for the rest of his life?

    How's he expected to get by on that?

    It's an absolute scandal.

    Looks like the remuneration comittee and non-execs really stuffed him there.

    The monumental failure he orchestrated should have commanded a much higher reward than that.

    Who are the rubbish non-execs and remuneration comittee members responsible for short changing Sir Fred? They should be relieved of their duties immediately.

  • Comment number 94.

    £16m is a drop in the ocean of RBS's losses. He is being made to draw the attention of the public. The net have to be cast wider, much wider over the ABN takeover to include anybody and everyone involved or have received commissions and businesses from the deal - accountants, investment bankers, dealers, politicians, officials, lobbyists and their "clients".

    Over the years, several people have been prosecuted under the Official Secrecies Act for leaks which, seem to embarrass the government, rather than undermining the stability of the country. The Anti-Terrorism Act has been very keenly applied to some good effect and it uncovered a new terrorist state, Iceland. Our cod supply is in danger.

    Given the depth and breadth of damage done to this country by a few hundred bankers, lobbyists and other. Shouldn't the books be thown at them? Is it not treason to pursue money, power and vainglory at such a terrible risks and cost to the country? We were hit by the financial and economic equivalent of WMD. Both world wars ruined generations, this one may take a generation (20 years) to sort out.

  • Comment number 95.

    Right, I've been to lunch and got over the shock of this news.

    On reflection, I think this particular 'Knight of the Realm' is going to need that 650K for his home security budget.

    Either that or for all the cake he'll have to throw at disperse the peasants (i.e. 'normal' pensioners...the one's paying for his pension pot) from his front lawn.

  • Comment number 96.

    The new chairman should call an 'extraordinary general meeting' of the banks shareholders (thats us), and put forward proposals for a new pension scheme and the revocation of existing pensions where they are excessive or inappropriate. Proposals might also include pursuing cases of 'criminal negligence' or 'fraud' etc. The wording will need suitable 'tweaking'.
    Then we vote on it. Standard procedure?


  • Comment number 97.

    Its utterly incredible he should be rewarded for catastrophic failure in this way.

    Its also another reason why the banks should have been allowed to fail, while the government guaranteed saver's accounts.

    Instead we shovelled money into a black hole we didn't and still don't know the full extent of.

  • Comment number 98.

    the rise in house prices over 10 years against the rise in wages for the same period is so disproportionate that there was never a chance it wouldn't cause trouble.

    As for getting fred's pension back try negligence and misrepresentation. A good criminal lawyer could probably find something to pin on fred. And why not. Any jury is going to have him for lunch.

    The govt aren't going to follow this course because it will inevitably lead to the disclosure of treasury and BoE reports circulated to ministers predicting the current crisis years ago. And that means incompetence or criminal culpability.

  • Comment number 99.

    My wife and I both work for RBS and we have lost all of our life savings and have been issued with redundancy notices.

    This man should be jailed. He has ruined our lives and that of many millions and yet he continues to bleed the bank dry even after it has had a triple transfusion.

    This is so, so morally wrong.

  • Comment number 100.

    I am convinced that the recent failure of the banking sector should be dealt with harshly. It has ruined the lives of millions of UK citizens.

    Those in charge of UK banks should be prosecuted for failing to provide adequate care for the bank's finances.

    It makes no difference that financial regulations governing the banks were inadequate.

    Those who set up the system of financial regulations can be voted out of office.

    Ultimately, The people who run our banks are responsible for their success or failure.

    Had they been successful, they would have been paid excessive bonuses but, as they were incompetent, they should be penalised heavily even if it takes special legislation to claw back some of the money they frittered away by witholding a portion of their earnings, bonus and pension.

    The failure of Sir Fred Goodwin to safeguard the finances of RBS should not be rewarded with an extravagant pension at the age of 50.

    His failure to carry out his duties should render our contractual obligation to him null and void.

    He should be held accountable for the money he has invested unwisely on our behalf. He belongs in jail.

 

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