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Goodwin's tax break

Robert Peston | 15:04 UK time, Tuesday, 17 March 2009

The latest nugget about Sir Fred's oh-so-lovely pension arrangements are that he has taken a £2.7m cash lump sum from his pension pot.

Fred GoodwinThis is worth £4.5m to him, because RBS is paying its former chief executive's £1.8m tax liability on it.

For the avoidance of doubt, however, the lump-sum payment reduces his annual pension income - from £703,000 a year to £555,000.

However Sir Fred's decision to take the lump sum forces yet another cost on a bank that is somewhat short of the readies.

So it has asked Sir Fred to pay back the lump sum and revert to taking his £703,000 a year.

Sir Fred has agreed to do this, so long as he can get an assurance from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs that the tax man won't come after him for the £1.8m in tax that would - in theory - still be due on the £2.7m payment, even if the money has been handed back.

What a palaver.

If you were to find this to-ing and fro-ing rather unseemly, you would probably not be alone.

After all, Sir Fred took Royal Bank to the brink of collapse. It wouldn't be alive today if we as taxpayers hadn't propped it up.

So it's not surprising that the City Minister, Lord Myners, today told MPs that the Royal Bank of Scotland continues to explore whether the battered bank in some way broke the law in agreeing to pay the supercharged pension to Sir Fred Goodwin.

What Myners didn't say is that there's something of a punch-up over this between two of the City's biggest law firms, Linklaters and Slaughter & May.

Slaughter, which is advising Myners and the Treasury, believe there may be a legal route to reduce the pension.

Linklaters, which is RBS's solicitors, believe there isn't a cat's chance in hell of retrieving a penny.

So RBS is taking the advice of leading counsel on whether its board somehow failed to follow all the proper procedures in the way it agreed the generous terms of Sir Fred's departure (and see my note "Clawing back Sir Fred's pension" for more on all this).

RBS really can't do otherwise, given the outrage that Sir Fred's pension has generated among its customers and shareholders.

But some argue that Lord Myners' vigorous pursuit of Sir Fred is a case of stable doors and bolting horses.

I remain slightly puzzled by why Lord Myners - who's probably the least naïve business person I know and who was advised by Slaughter at the time - didn't investigate more deeply the terms of Sir Fred's departure, before it was too late to change them.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    This has turned into yet another circus in which the taxpayer will end up paying yet more expensive bills.

    When will it dawn on the great and good that we can no longer afford this type of entertainment?

    All I know is that Goodwin got away with it and they let him. It's a disgrace but when in a hole stop digging. Just move on!

  • Comment number 2.


    He's not daft. Probably thinks it is safer to pull his money, buy gold and bury it on a beach in the caribbean where its safe from the taxman and money printers.

  • Comment number 3.

    Oh dear. You write an article on behalf of ???? to try and improve the press on the bankers.

    And then a few minutes later this comes out ...

    Bad day at the office ?

  • Comment number 4.

    Once again the ones making the real money will be the lawyers.

    When will central government employ the right people to ask the right astute questions at the right time? Can you imagine a business going back to a supplier and saying 'sorry we paid you too much for that'?

    Still I find it hard to concieve of a business that pays bonuses regardless of if it has made money. For most mortals it is a way of sharing the cream after a good year.

  • Comment number 5.

    "I remain slightly puzzled by why Lord Myners - who's probably the least naïve business person I know and who was advised by Slaughter at the time - didn't investigate more deeply the terms of Sir Fred's departure, before it was too late to change them."

    Because he along with the department he works for is not fit for purpose Robert. Its hardly rocket science

  • Comment number 6.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7947844.stm

    So is it 2.7 or 3 Million Robert

  • Comment number 7.

    Oh yeah - and there's a surprise - a bunch of lawyers saying they have a good case to take legal action.

    Call me cynical ...

  • Comment number 8.

    Robert you say: After all, Sir Fred took Royal Bank to the brink of collapse.
    I have no axe to grind for Fred the Shred but do you not think there is something sinister and positively indecent about the way in which he has been deliberately isolated and set up by the government to be vilified as the villain of the banking piece ? And aren't you joining in with remarks like that ?
    First, Goodwin was one member of a board of directors whose members were judged to be high calibre with a long pedigree of business success. He did not act alone.Every significant decision was backed by the Board - wasn't it?
    Second, hardly any bank of any size in the world was not hit to the tune of £ billions by the credit crunch and its aftermath. RBS is just one of many banks affected - isn't it?
    Third,the seed of the problem which has hit the global banking system was sown by the top people in the global banking community. They came up with a scenario which they said would make the banking system more stable and reduce the risk of banking failures. This was promoted by the International Banking Federation and endorsed by the IMF.
    It had precisely the opposite effect to that envisaged. It paved the way for ‘off the books” SIVs etc which not only laid the foundation for a destabilised banking system with risk distributed in such way that nobody had any confidence in anything when the bubble burst, but also encouraged more risky behaviour by individual banks and made regulation more difficult.
    Fourth, we have the behaviour of our government in contrast to its stance now, complete with heavy re-writing of history. Gordon Brown’s Mansion House speech of 2006 did not see him castigating bankers for their irresponsible behaviour but lauding their dynamism innovative products etc. He did not call for tougher regulation but boasted of the part played by the government in continuing with light touch regulation in the face of suggestion to beef it up. He did not call for effective cross-border regulation but stressed that he has resisted calls for a single EU regulator and would continue to do so. And we now know from the head of FSA that the pressure on them was to not get too heavy with the banks.
    We did not have Gordon seeking to dampen down the risky behaviour of banks, businesses and individuals but encouraging it by assuring us repeatedly “No more boom and bust”, not too mention setting an example by running up public spending like there was no (bust) tomorrow – including his expansion of “off the books” PFI spending.
    We did not have Gordon condemning huge earnings and bonuses in the City –merely lapping up the tax revenues. Fred Goodwin was not a source of worry or criticism – more a regular presence in Downing Street, at Chequers and at the head of Government Task Forces, not to mention collecting a knighthood.
    Maybe Goodwin should be in the dock, for his part in what has happened to the banks and the economy but, if so, he should have plenty of company. Gordon should not acting as prosecutor in chief or even juror but as a fellow accused.
    To see an individual deliberately served up to be vilified (and his family exposed) all timed so as to divert the headlines from the extra billions being thrown at the banks and the critical comments of the Government from the FSA, the National Audit Office and the B of E was sinister and positively indecent - don't you think ?

  • Comment number 9.

    Perhaps he's taking the money while he can spend it.

    Some ominous noises are coming out of the US about law suits by shareholdes and such like that could make Fred's payoff look like a pittance.

    The lawyers seem very confident and if they win the first one against Fred and the Board of RBS how many more will there be and what will be the cost to the taxpayers once again?

    Will there be a rush by the government to nationalise the banks before this happens?

  • Comment number 10.

    WHAT exactly was Myners there for - has he got a mouth?? - a brain?? - can he not ask relevant questions - eg what about his pension, how much is he getting. WHAT a farce and Myners is a close adviser of the PM - seems there is a real link as to how UK is in a depression if these two were deciding / making up fiscal policy.

    WHAT was Myners task in the debacle and what did he do - or more to the point - what did he not do????????

  • Comment number 11.

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator][Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]So the witch hunt over Sir Fred Goodwins pension continues. And if the stable door was bolted long ago the blame game will run on and on. No surprise really. Since the credit crunch began, blame has been a central theme with the finger pointed at virtually everyone in the economic cycle from governments to bankers and consumers. With the G20 approaching it is time for unified action. A more positive and resilient economic mindset is required. To build a brighter future see [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 12.

    This should not be the only legal redress that Sir Fred should be worried about...

    'Council pension funds suing RBS!'

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7946124.stm

    On Radio 4 yesterday evening the US lawyer who is taking on this case, on behalf of the UK councils, stated that should a crime be proven, then the US legal system has the power to demand a portion of a chief exective's personal assets. This personal fine can be 'above and beyond' any punative fines covered by an executive's company indemnity insurance scheme. He gave an example of a 30 million dollar fine legal ruling against an executive, that was covered by insurance, being followed by a 5 million dollar fine against the executive payable from his own personal assets.

    The US lawyer didn't say what his percentage fees were...but he sounded very determined!

  • Comment number 13.

    So we have:
    Linklater's, advising Government-owned-RBS, and charging them up to £900/hour
    arguing with
    Slaughter & May, advising the Government, and charging them up to £900/hour,
    !!!??!!??!!
    These two legal firms, between them, are likely (after all their senior legal opinion) to bill how much for this ? Up to £1/2 million ? Up to 1 million ? Much more ?

    So we the tax payer are paying these city lawyers huge sums to sue us.
    At least some rich lawyers will still have fortunes to be able to afford a loaf of bread in a couple of years, when Sterling is worthless and taxes for the common man are at painful levels.
    And this rip off is actually only a minor rip off compared to some other current ones !!??!!



  • Comment number 14.

    Risk, risk, risk. That's all I hear on thsi blog.

    Well specially for you Robert, the definition of risk: expose to a chance of loss or damage

    And risk management: Risk management is a structured approach to managing uncertainty related to a threat

    Now neither of these definitions indicates that risk can be totally avoided or even indicates that risk management suddenly means you cannot lose money.

    Taking financial risk is necessary to earn a financial reward. Do I really need to take you through this Robert, business editor of the BBC?

    What I'm trying to say is that risk management is not a magical event that means finacnial insitutions will never lose money. It means they try to minimise it anmd avoid as much as possible. Effectively they evaluiate the risk and decide whether the returns make it worht the risk.

    Going on and on and on about how risk management strategies are obsolete and need to be overhauled is a fallable argument because that implies that all risk can be managed away. Well I suppose it can but then your returns will also managed away.

  • Comment number 15.

    Taking aside the farrago around Goodwins thoroughly undeserved pension, and the complete shambles RBS and the government have made over this, it's fascinating that a 2.7 million lump sum attracts a gob-smacking tax rate of *two thirds*

    I could just about accept a 40% tax on such large amounts, but when more than half your cash goes over to the taxman there is something dreadfully wrong.

    Whilst I'd shed no tears for Goodwin losing out on this, the very fact such a high rate exists is disgusting. No wonder anyone earning over a certain amount either leaves the UK or does their level best to evade or avoid such taxes.

    This is a tale of greed from both sides, the undeserving Goodwin and the looting government of the UK.

  • Comment number 16.

    Whilst FG's pension is clearly indefensible, HM Government have been using it to distract attention from the real waste. So if the Treasury are leaking more details, through Peston, of this man's pension, it must be because there is some other massive splurge of taxpayer's money going on. So come on Robert, where's the real scandal?

  • Comment number 17.

    Oh there's no doubt that the government has hung him out to dry on this one. Who do the public hate and distrust more than politicians? Bankers, that's who, and don't you just love watching all the hot air and 'anger' from the government about it?

    If they could do something about it, they would have done so by now, instead they are reduced to hopping up and down on the touch line 'expressing anger' and hoping no one will notice that it was all their fault in the first place.

    Now we are left with two of the most highly priced firms of lawyers in the world slugging it out. One paid for by the treasury (taxpayer's money) and the other paid for by RBS (ermmmmm also taxpayer's money). Where exactly is the sense in that?

    I'm almost prepared to bet that the entire legal process will cost more than the damn pension was worth in the first place.

  • Comment number 18.

    Lord Myners WAS claiming naivete in trying to wash his hand of this fiasco. But it was unconvincing, you have to question his judgement when he failed to ask about the specifics on Fred's pension even though he is a pension expert because of the RBS "distinguished" board members in the meeting.
    Is Lord Myners negligent or complicit in this matter? You decide.

  • Comment number 19.

    I was sat on a train opposite two RBS IT staff last week who were talking candidly about the company, saying it was guesswork which "assets" were worth anything, and that the company was wasting a fortune on contract IT staff who were doing tasks that a trainee could do. They concluded "Still - who cares - its the taxpayer thats paying for it not RBS"

    RBS should have been allowed to fail

  • Comment number 20.

    Wouldn't it be interesting to know whether Linklaters suggested that RBS brief them to seek a way to avoid paying Freddy, rather than to seek a way to repel Slaughter & Mays attack.

    There is a subtle difference, but I suggest that neither of the lawyers is seeking the truth or a good solution.

    Of course there is much more moolah for S+M and Linky's if they are both arguing from opposite sides; then they can charge by the hour for months (maybe even years).

    I might be getting too cynical for all this, but I suspect this will run up legal fees into the millions, without ever getting to court. (well apart from Harriet Hairnet's court of public opinion.....)

    Regards,

  • Comment number 21.

    My guiding principle is also "no rewards for failure".
    Sack Lord Myners and make sure he does not walk away a massive pension...

  • Comment number 22.

    I'm also fascinated by the comments you make as to the 'value' of the money he took:

    'he has taken a £2.7m cash lump sum from his pension pot. This is worth £4.5m to him, because RBS is paying its former chief executive's £1.8m tax liability on it.'

    At the risk of sounding like a dummy, I'd say that the £2.7 million is worth exactly that, £2.7m - not £4.5m or any other figure that can be dreamt up. There seems to be an equal obssession with the banks and with the taxman for assuming everything is worth the maximum theoretical amount possible and then expressing surprise when that turns out not to be the case.

  • Comment number 23.

    This is reported as if it is something unique to Sir Fred, when in reality every civil servant mandarin in Whitehall (and MPs?) would probably be able to do the self same thing.
    In many approved final salary pension schemes the recipient is able to take three times their annual pension as a tax free lump sum. Some schemes offer the opportunity to commute annual pension for more tax free lump sum or vice versa.
    Just how much tax is the bank paying?

  • Comment number 24.

    Fred Goodwin is showing dangerous signs of being a human being - and not behaving as the hyper-rational economic actor that some might think.

    In taking the cash, Goodwin has displayed a phenomenon of irrationality called hyperbolic discounting - but is it actually rational to return it? Only under very narrow assumptions - see this link for details:

    http://www.knowingandmaking.com/2009/03/goodwin-discount.html

  • Comment number 25.

    #15

    Frank, the tax rate is 40%. The entitlement for a lump sum is 25% of the fund, i.e. £4.5m, which when taxed at 40% results in a net payment to Goodwin of £2.7m.

    Actually, this is the good news. The government can now afford to pay their abortive legal fees when it is finally established that they have no case. £1.8m might just about cover it.

    I am more interested about who will pay Myners' legal fees if McKillop decides to sue him for concocting an "elaborate ruse", allegedly, to allow Goodwin to resign with a massive pension. Crash's spokesmen have endorsed the phrase, so no doubt that's another pointless legal bill for John Q Taxpayer.

    Oh well, at least the lawyers are still making money.

  • Comment number 26.

    @22 Fred is not going to pay taxes on the 2.7 mil because that tax has been prepaid to the Treasury by RBS.

    So it is like giving Fred 4.5 mil then asking him to pay his own tax on that amount.

  • Comment number 27.

    Obama has ordered USA Treasury to explore every legal loophole so as to cancel AIG bonuses and "make America whole" according to NY Times today.
    We have recently learnt that there is a class legal action action against RBS in the USA that if successful might mean that Fred the Shred loses most of his ill-gotten gains.
    If both these attempts fail to produce the desired results legally what will be the next move to bring these robber barons at AIG and RBS to justice?
    It's more than a thousand years since Pompey the Great said "Don't quote the Law to us. We carry swords "
    How will we in the 21st century arm ourselves to fight against the thieves at RBS and AIG and others like
    them if the Law is powerless to help us? Maybe Obama can find a way to change the Law. If he can there is hope for a fairer society both in the USA and here.


  • Comment number 28.

    Peston and ZanuLabour - excellent bedfellows - spin for all u r worth against Sir Fred - maybe the plebs will forget WHO was involved in the negotiations - NOT a chance - HMG and Myners MUST be made to pay - have a blog asking real questions of these incompetents, Myners and his team of advisers??? - they were well and truly stuffed by RBS - and Myners is an expert???? - heaven help us.

  • Comment number 29.

    I'm glad Frank_Castle could just about accept a tax rate of 40% because that is exactly the rate that was applied. The gross (in every sense of the word) amount that he received was 2.7 + 1.8 = 4.5 million. 40% tax on the 4.5 million is 1.8 million, leaving 2.7 million for him to spend on sweets and bus fares.

    Now the question for Robert: are you absolutely sure that only the 2.7 is taken from the pension pot, and not the whole 4.5? That would be unusual, and tantamount to giving him another 1.8 million to add to his retirement settlement. The pension reduction of 703 to 555, i.e. 21%, doesn't square well with either of these explanations: if you take 4.5 from a 16 million pension pot you reduce it by 28%; if you only take 2.7 you reduce it by 17%. I don't for a moment buy the argument that RBS has asked him to reverse the lump sum because it needs the money: we are talking single figure millions, the bank has lost double figure billions. That would be like haggling for £5 off the price of a brand new porsche: an irrelevant distraction.

    Perhaps you could have a bit more of a dig here, Robert?

  • Comment number 30.

    I would very much like to see this man as the subject of a "random" H M customs & revenue investigation... he clearly has no morals and as such no doubt will have been involved in any number of dubious accounting exploits.

    The threat of a bit of random forensic accountancy might encourage him to crawl under the first available rock (no, not Northern) with a reasonable amount to remunerate him for his complicity in abject failure - I would feel comfortable with a sum around £0.00 -

    I would love to see him have to go and look for gainful employment in a real world meritocracy - and with a CV like his - I wonder "would one like fries with that?"

  • Comment number 31.

    I expect Harriet Harman will tell us that this is unacceptable-and-therefore-won't-be-accepted, too.

    In the spirit of overall hilarity: we know a little song about this, don't we, children ?

  • Comment number 32.

    Re: "a bank that is somewhat short of the readies."

    They must be desperately short if 2.7 (or even 4.5) million is that important to them. If you have any money in this organisation then it might be a wise move to get it out ASAP.

  • Comment number 33.

    "Sir Fred took the Royal Bank to the brink of collapse"....... This is beginning to really annoy me.. Let's put it right shall we..

    "Sir Fred took Royal Bank to the brink of collapse albeit that the strategy he followed had the approval of the RBS main shareholders and the tacit support of Gordon Brown who presided over an economy where household debt reached record levels of £1.4 trillion, the trade gap broke new records and house price inflation exceeded all expectations.

    Unlike Sir Fred, Brown is still in his job and will still get 100% of his pension"

  • Comment number 34.

    @28 as someone who actually met some of the Treasury officials involved in this, in the aftermath, I think you have to take the context into account. When I met them, by then a few weeks afterwards, the entire team was still utterly exhausted having worked round the clock for several weeks. That they failed to spot this final hand-out from the departing management team to itself, is unfortunate but not all that surprising: they were not directly involved in the exit negotiations and were directly involved in the extremely complex and serious recapitalisation negotiations. They are human, that we know. Much more serious is the charge that the departing board, who were all in part at fault for the rbs disaster, would appear either to have ignored or not sought appropriate advice on the minimum they could pay the departing ceo; or to have been badly advised. In either case we have a target to aim at, and it will be disappointing if the legal system is insufficient to make the charge stick.

  • Comment number 35.

    Myners is being highly economical with the truth. RBS could not have given him 12 months notice and fired him - basic principle of employment law, with very few exceptions, people on fixed term contracts are entitled to renewal of contract otherwise it is unfair dismissal. They could not fire him because he had not done anything worth firing him for - if you under-perform (and lets face it he certainly did that), employment law requires that you put him on a performance review process. Problem was govt. told RBS to get rid of immediately so only option was voluntary termination which meant he could negotiate a pay off.

    now obviously we cannot accuse a politician of lying to parliament (that is very serious) but Myners has been a businessman and presumeably has some basic knowledge of employment law - and there is a large govt. dept who could brief him. I find it difficult to believe he was not aware of the problems and therefore comments such as "just give him 12 months notice" were clearly designed to divert attention.

    If you do not believe me ask any small businessman who has tried to fire staff for incompetence or poor performance in say the last 3-5 years.

  • Comment number 36.

    Think Later and Laughter & Dismay.

    Clearly, this will be a clash of legal titans. I wonder how much THEY'LL make out of all the shenanigans.

    Does anyone in this country actually PRODUCE anything, any more?

  • Comment number 37.


    One thing that Lord Myner mentioned this morning which, does not seem to have been reported on the news channels since is that when Sir Fred joined RBS his pension provision was set up to artificially reflect him having started with the bank when he was 20 years old thus providing him with 20 years plus of pension contributions that he had never made.

    Surely this need further investigation/comment?

  • Comment number 38.

    @32 Nice try but RBS would not be allowed to fail. The UK taxpayer would just be forced to stump up more cash if there is a bank run.

    Don't you think we have been collectively punished enough for the sins of the bankers?

  • Comment number 39.

    Robert

    Has it ever crossed your mind that people believe you are receiving money from the License payer(tax payer) that you do not deserve. All you do is wheel out your negative views so you get your money!!!!

  • Comment number 40.

    #2 tom edinburgh if Fred Goodwin buries his pension lump sum on a beach in the Caribbean then I'm in luck matey!

    on other matters, Roberts twin posting today - the 1st one on how banking is sooooo important and we should value it; the 2nd returning to the regular bash-Fred themes - yet again proves that he is simply running interference on behalf of the govt and maybe his friends in the City

    the govt should be advised that the general public anger against the banks and bankers will last a very long time but that we also have the good sense to blame the politicians too; kind of obvious really and Myners/Brown/Darling's claims they never agreed anything is strangely similar to all of these 'we don't condone torture' denials we hear about poor Binyam Mohammed

    only the most naieve person would fail to understand what UK govts get up to and also that the City continues to exert huge power and influence at Westminster, over both Lab and Tory parties; that is unlikely to change much unless we somehow managed to elect someone else

    but as they say 'if voting made any difference it would be made illegal'

    cycling through Bishopsgate earlier today it's interesting to see that the Heron Tower is up to 12 floors (will be 46) and the foundation piling for the Pinnacle is going full steam (final height 60 floors); the Shard also to be built; I think you could say that there is quite a lot of confidence in the City that everything will be back to 'normal' by 2012/13

    but Fred Goodwin may well find himself spending a lot of his money on lawyers if the US courts go after him........ a few others may get made examples of too

    I can see it now: Conrad Black, Bernie Madoff, Fred Goodwin and various AIG execs all sharing bunk-beds in the wing of a nice little American prison somewhere

    or perhaps Guantanamo Bay; it will be available for new occupants soon

    the dog barks and the caravan moves on

    PS: this website redesign is ok but why didn't you introduce a 'recommend' button whilst you were at it

  • Comment number 41.

    Only winners will be the lawyers, chaps. This one will run and run, anyone want to place a bet on what the legal fees will amount to?

  • Comment number 42.

    Slaughter & May: would that be the same firm that advised Barclays on it's "Project Berry" UK tax analysis?

  • Comment number 43.

    In order to avoid rewarding bad performance, wouldn't it be possible to take an equal few million out of the other Directors' pension pot? They were the ones that apparently signed off his early retirement, so why should they not pay for their mistake? After all, I'm sure that some residual culpability must be washing around in RBS somewhere. It may not penalise Shreddie, but at least some other banker will be crying into his pillow at night.
    I am sure someone will point out an error in my reasoning.

  • Comment number 44.

    Fred played the game in which Gordon set the rules.

    He played it very well and his reward was getting agreement to draw a huge, obscene even, pension when the world was crashing around his ears – very well done that man.

    It's a done deal and the lawyers know it, but as they are just mercenaries paid to dissemble on other peoples behalf they will give you any opinion you pay them for – and they are being paid very well.

    So Fred and the lawyers get fat while the tax payer picks up the bill – was it ever thus.

    The only part I find unedifying is that Gordon is attempting again to steal money away from a pensioner, but on this score he has form – remember that £5 billion a year he has been taking from future (private sector) pensioners since 1997?

    Does your pension feel safe with Gordon?

  • Comment number 45.

    Myners himself has a GBP 4 million pension pot - yup, from RBS from his tenure of 3 years at Natwest. So he cannot plead ignorance about RBS severance practice and the application of pension pots as a payoff.

  • Comment number 46.

    I just look forward to joining the class action suit against Gordon Brown as we, the taxpayers, seek to claw back his pension and anything else he has after his runination of this nation.

  • Comment number 47.

    FOR CRYING OUT LOUD

    FIND A PROPER STORY

    NOW

    What are the government hiding under all these smoke screens. Are you conspiring with the Zanulab dictatorship?
    Goodwin and his greed, lawyers and their greed, bankers and their greed, regulators and their incompetence.

    GIVE IT A REST WILL YOU and start some proper investigative journalism not snippets from your banking and government cronies.

    You are supposed to be the BUSINESS editor not just the banking gossip.

  • Comment number 48.

    26 Wannabebanker

    I'm completely aware of the numbers and the tax implication, my point was more general about the high numbers being bandied around. Regardless of what he got or what tax was paid, his £2.7 million was worth exactly that, regardless of who else paid the tax - whether the tax man assesses that he has a chargeable benefit from that as his former employer paid the tax could be a subject debated until the end of time. He'll argue his contract terms and the taxman will get pushed by the CPO (Court of Public Opinion and shady government types) to try and score points to alleviate public anger. This case could keep the legal profession in wigs for years to come...

  • Comment number 49.

    ah. your last paragraph says it all.

    just what arrangement did Lord Myners and Sir Fred come to, in the end?

    as Lord Myners is not naive, was it possibly that in return for 'silence' over the 'banking scandals' and perhaps even more damaging information to both the Gov and the Finance Industry, that Sir Fred was allowed to take his money and walk away?

    perhaps we'll never know.

    is it really worth chasing this story anymore? unless anyone breaks ranks and spills more beans, we must move on.

    there are too many well qualified people out there who have been reduced to penury and at present, have no way out, nor their wives and children.

    this would be a far better story for you to follow up Mr Peston, "just what is Gordon Brown going to do with real money and real action for just such people, innocently ruined by incompetence?"

  • Comment number 50.

    @45 Lord Myners categorically denied getting a RBS or Natwest pension to the treasury select committee.
    Is there a technicality that makes him able to claim that he's not getting a pension from either RBS or Natwest?

  • Comment number 51.

    "The new law of evolution in corporate America seems to be survival of the unfittest."
    Gordon Gekko (1987)

    Seems we are now following suit.

  • Comment number 52.

    Go on push this some more and you can probably find out that RBS will also have paid for the legal and accounting advice which pointed out to Fred that he could screw even more out of RBS by taking the lump sum which by now is probably residing somewhere warm and sunny.

    I very much doubt Fred cares very much what is said about it any further, if he had been bothered he would have volunteered this fact in his famous letter. Hopefully he has done the decent thing and given most of it to a charity and will endow all but a reasonable sum of his ongoing income to other charities as he collects his plunderings in years to come.

    What is going to cap it all is that having involved the big hitting, big charging city solicitors to argue the case that HMG and RBS will between them likely end up spending more than will ever be recovered doing it. Just adds insult to injury.

  • Comment number 53.

    Is the Fred lump sum an amount that he would be able to draw as a tax free lump sum as any other pension fund holder would? If he agrees to pay back this lump sum I assume that the money goes straight back into the pension pot and increases the amount that Fred can draw on an annual basis.
    More smoke and mirrors.
    Anyone know if there are any jobs going with the legal boys? No doubt with the fees they earn out of this one they can fund an untold number of apprenticeships thereby reducing the number of unemployed. Surely they wouldn't keep all that money (less 40%) to themselves?

  • Comment number 54.

    If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, well it must be - a decoy.

    So, if I understand correctly, even by "paying back" his lump sum, Sir Fred still wants RBS to gross up the amount to 4.5m and set aside a 40% tax provision (1.8m) on top of his existing pension pot.

    As you point out, there could be grounds for a legal challenge to the entire RBS board for misleading shareholders and perhaps breaching accounting standards, but it is easier for this Government to let Sir Fred draw the fire away, be tried in the "courts of public opinion", lest the Treasury be required to air its dirty linen in a court of law.

    What we really need is a real public inquiry (i.e. not led by another of the establishment parachute regiment) into why so many glaring holes were allowed to open up. Unlike how_many_andies at #34, I am unsympathetic to the Treasury officials simply because this crisis was being ignored until the last possible minute - unfortunate for those pressed into a last-minute knee-jerk 24x7 panic - but criminally irresponsible for those who allowed the situation to get to that point.

  • Comment number 55.

    That's more like it Robert. Nice and juicy. Well, as I think you pointed out before it's just they way they seem to do things in the boardroom. What a shambles though. All of this may well prove to be a sideshow as I gather good old Sir Freddy's about to be sued in the US courts. Furthermore, if he loses he'll have to find a sizeable sum from his own (yes that's right: his own) money to compensate irate shareholders. I'm salivating at the thought of it. Hey, you never know, we may well see a whole bunch of ex-bankers busking on the London underground in the not too distant future. Well, maybe not, but it's a nice thought.

  • Comment number 56.

    If the government cannot resolve this issue to the satisfaction of the people then it will be a inflamatory situation as total confidence will be lost.

    Why should people invest in the stock market?
    Why should people have private pensions?
    Why should people rely on the success of badly run companies to provide their future earnings?

    If you look at history (which no reporter is able to do) you will see the following has all been down to successive Government policy. Making a mockery of 'change' which is banded about as a reason for voting blue instead of red - or vice versa.
    Historically it has been:
    1- The Government start encouraging private pension schemes claiming they are 'better for everyone'
    2 - Those schemes get into trouble because companies are too willing to 'dip in' during hard times creating huge pension deficits.
    3 - The removal of FSP's by all companies (and I think even the Government) means we're all FORCED to play the stock market by having a private pension.
    4 - The market breaks itself (as it always does) and screws everyones pension up - even stable fixed income products are hit hard. Record low interest rates are brought in to stave off recession.
    5 - We end up with hundreds of thousands of retirees who are no longer eligible for SERPS and whose private pension is worthless.

    The Government has well and truly screwed us, in fact forcing millions to work beyond retirement age.

    Where did the money go? Well think about it, Fred's pension is based on earnings, earnings which have been over-inflated for the last 10 years because all the market monkeys thought they had finally cracked it.

    The moral question the Government needs to address is why it is now working against the needs of the most vulnerable citizens (pensioners) whilst claiming to be a Government 'for the people'.

    I don't think they're going to make it to 2010 - despite the over-optimism from the states - something big is starting and it's called ARM and it's going to floor the Western governments who have kidded themselves that 'the worst is over'.

    Oh how the folly of the stupid is so evident in our Government. They seriously don't have a clue about what's coming next - or they would have had the army recalled and out on the streets....

  • Comment number 57.

    I think Sir Fred has actually been quite magnanimous in not taking his lump sum....I would certainly rather have a lump sum of £2.7m than the extra pension.
    We should all heave a sigh of relief that the no-one has been allowed to nobble a done deal on pensions....if they could do it to Sir Fred then they could do it to you!

  • Comment number 58.

    #40 Somali Pirate wrote:

    "...on other matters, Roberts twin posting today "

    I think you'll find Robert makes common purpose and the two posts have the same provenance. If you're after buried treasure, forget the seven seas and start digging on the maitland. You might even find something of interest on Radio 5 - you can always go back to pirate radio stations if not.

  • Comment number 59.

    ...and anyone who dares say Fred was worth the money will get a back hand slap from me - I can assure categorically that I could do Fred's job with one hand behind my back and juggling a set of running chainsaws and still have time to make the tea.
    Trust me - it's not rocket science being a CEO of a bank. In fact it's evident that you must be an idiot to manage to screw up one of the most practiced busineses in the history of Capitalism.
    Don't make the mistake of thinking that pay has ANY relation to ABILITY. Anyone who does is a mug.

    I know this because I am over-paid for the work I do, as are my colleagues. The less I have worked the more I have got paid, as i have climbed the ladder work has become easier and easier and the people I work with are getting thicker and thicker.

    It's all the king with no clothes......all over the place...

  • Comment number 60.

    "I remain slightly puzzled"!

    Welcome to the puzzled.

    we need to recover and reclaim much more than the tiny £16 million from one person. We need to get back the £ trillions that got swindled and stashed away over the past decades.

    Yes, he is a scapegoat.

    Over the years my impressions are that lawyers care mostly about fees, in whatever disguise, cosy arrangments, elitism, then about laws. Neither service nor justice matters much.

    Oh, is not Cheery Blair (Tony's wife) representating the councils suing RBS? If she is, then she may want to ask her husband whether he had kept his eyes on the ball in his term of office.

  • Comment number 61.

    @48 Lord Myners explained Fred's unusual pension very clearly. He was clearly talking about net rather than gross amounts.

    More broadly, don't you think Fred's pension was understated because the RBS board is aware of how politically explosive Fred's large pension would be?

  • Comment number 62.

    All getting very funny now - may be that's the point? All it needs is a Mrs Dromey to pipe up again with one of her massivley under-informed interjections and we'll be laughing until Easter.

    Myners is clearly squirming on all this - and in the interests of transparency and openness, he should release a full statement of his own pension arrangements. If he doesn't, we will always wonder what he was thinking when he, the great Pensions-meister, didn't ask the killer questions.

  • Comment number 63.

    Pension are not paid by the company (RBS) but by the pension scheme trustee. I accept the company has to finance the scheme but they are totally separate legal entities. He has no doubt took the TAX FREE LUMP SUM that is available to everyone at retirement in exchange for taking a reduced pension, in this case, £2.7m for a £150K reduction. However as he will pay 40% tax on his pension, it is obviously to his advantage to take the tax free sum, as the £150k will only be worth £90k after 40% tax.
    £2.7m is equivalent to 30 years at £90k per year, without taking into account the fact that the £90k will no doubt increase every year in line with RPI, or that the £2.7m will gain from being invested to produce an income.
    With his tax position, he would have been a complete idiot not to have taken the lump sum.

  • Comment number 64.

    I don't for one moment believe that Sir F should receive such rewards for his failure.

    However, I can't help but wonder if perhaps Toni Brisby (Chair) and Martin Yeates (Chief Exec), recently resigned from the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, might just have walked off with a state-funded NHS pension.

    Whilst I'm sure it would not be of the magnitude of Sir F's, we'll wait and see if there are questions asked in Parliament about rewarding failure in these public sector cases. Perhaps Sir Ian Kennedy should be asked why his Healthcare Commission took so long to discover the problems?

    I just can't help but see some parallels with the recent history of some banks and the FSA, somehow.

  • Comment number 65.

    I suspect that rather than leave the money with a dodgy bank, he has put the money under his mattress.

  • Comment number 66.

    Maybe that was the price for Sir F to keep his mouth shut!

  • Comment number 67.

    "After all, Sir Fred took Royal Bank to the brink of collapse. It wouldn't be alive today if we as taxpayers hadn't propped it up."
    Robert, you have not been listening to Gordon .... he steered the UK through 10 whole years of "sustainable growth"; a period in which RBS and Sir Fred were integral parts of that sustainability .... they played by HIS rules and they are perfectly entitled to their spoils.
    Gordon, on the other hand, must face the music one day ...
    .... personally, I cannot wait ..... guillotine and knitting needles at the ready ! !

  • Comment number 68.

    The new format is not working properly. No red bar appeared automatically below 'Goodwin's Tax Break"
    Found my way there eventually - round the back so to speak. While on the subject of the new format - please-
    please get ' Them' to change that ghastly pie faced picture of you on the blog. We've all seen you often enough
    on video to know that you are actually a truly stunningly handsome bloke - so please get 'Them' to get rid of that horrible pic. It looks like the worst kind of passport photo.

  • Comment number 69.

    Allow greedy Fred to keep his pension. BUT have the auditors recalculate the accounts for prior years, the massive losses have been created over many years not just one. Then recalculate bonuses and reclaim the overpayments from all the fat cats. Not just RBS, but all banks. Auditors are often called upon to recalculate prior year accounts when new information is brought to light......Ian

  • Comment number 70.

    Sling enough mud at Goodwin (who deserves it ) and it deflects the flack off Brown and his puupet MP's

    If Goodwin should not be rewarded for failure then Brown and Darling should retire pennyless
    ! Any comments on that point from the "Independent BBC" ?

    Had Enough

  • Comment number 71.

    just came across this story on Globe and Mail business pages a little while ago; a new IMF estimate says that contraction will be worse; for UK it says GDP to shrink 3.8% in 09 and still be -0.2 in 2010, which would make the UK the only major economy to stay in negative territory next year!! haven't seen these figures elsewhere

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090317.wimf0317/BNStory/crashandrecovery/home

    would be good if Robert could look into what these figures are based on, or report on the growing auto industry crisis, or housing, or unemployment; anything, instead of continuing with all this BREAD AND CIRCUSES STUFF

    HE'S TURNING THE BBC WEBSITE INTO THE EQUIVALENT OF A REDTOP TABLOID

    must say I pretty much agree with #47 sosraboc

  • Comment number 72.

    Sounds as if it all went something like ...

    LORD PENSIONS: Right, Gordon, I'm off to that meeting with RBS now. What do you want me to say?

    FLASH: Just tell them there should be no reward for failure.

    LORD PENSIONS: That all? Anything else?

    FLASH: No, just leave it at that. We don't want to persecute them, do we? They'll get the message.

    LORD PENSIONS: Oh...ok then.



    In which case, absolutely no-one is to blame (again).

  • Comment number 73.

    #15 If he recd £2.7m and tax was £1.8m then he has been taxed the same as any other 40% tax payer - £4.5m * 40% = £1.8m.

    What I am unsure of within all this is there are some recent rules regarding Pension Fund ceilings and prohibitive rates of tax above these fund values - Sir Fred's will definitely be in the very high rates band - is he suffering this tax on his pension or are RBS responsible for all taxes under their agreement with Sir Fred - now that would really be wrong.

  • Comment number 74.

    Perhaps Lord Myners, who is actually one of the good old City in-crowd, just didn't think there was anything wrong with Goodwin's pension!!

    He was probably amazed when all the fuss blew up.

    I wonder who is looking after Myner's financial interests while he is in the government? Probably another good old City boy.

    Possibly a mate of Goodwin's?

  • Comment number 75.

    Keeping at a safe arms length from all of these failed people will not be easy. The deep pain and recriminations of the smoke and mirrors' system they have put in place to try and obscure their failings is yet to start.

    Although they have been capable of starting the printing presses, otherwise known as the perpetual money machine, stopping them will inevitably have to be carried out by wiser replacements.

  • Comment number 76.

    Just now on the main News page 'Lord Myners says he "did not negotiate, settle, or approve" Sir Fred's pension'

    Reminds me of a comment by the late great Brian Clough, when questioned about an opposition player who was obviously offside but deemed by officials to be "not interfering with play" ...

    His response: "If he wasn't interfering what the **** was he doing there".

    So, Lord Myners, may I be so bold as to enquire as to exactly what the **** you WERE doing during the Sir Fred negotiations at RBS ?

  • Comment number 77.

    well done fred goodwin you have shown up brown and his shambles of a treasury for what they are ....useless. brownwatch 440 days.

  • Comment number 78.

    Credit where due.

    Moderation speed is much better on the new format.

    Thank you.

  • Comment number 79.

    The REAL STORY at RBS

    What Crash Gordon is desperate to keep hidden is the story of Cherie Blair now the advising partner to a US Law firm who has issued a Class Action is a Federal Court against RBS, its Directors and Chairman and Fred the Shred.

    This means that with the British Government owning 75% plus of RBS, we, the Taxpayers are being sued by hundreds of investors in the USA in a Class Action over the merits of the Rights Issue called last year by RBS

    These Investors feel that they were "duped" as to the financial status of RBS which was all but bankrupt at that time. All the Legal Team need to do in the Federal Court is to ensure that the Judge grants them jurisdiction over RBS ( which is easy) and also others involved. This case could run for years and cost us (Taxpayers) Billions at the end, even to settle out of Court, which they will try first.

    This US Federal Case could well mean that Politicians and possibly our own Chancellor and Prime Minister could be requested to make on tape "depositions" in an American Court case, with huge implications for RBS and political dynamite for GB. All the secret chats after hours, emails and telephone records of Number 10, the Treasury and all our their home numbers and mobiles may all be scrutinised in Federal Court.

    A Federal Judge in the USA would not blink when signing jurisdiction and deposition demands to bring in Third Country Nationals. Look what happened to the Nat West famous three? There is a LOT more money involved in this case, Billions in fact.

    THAT is the real story Robert, the status of the Class Action in the US Federal Courts, supported by our last Prime Minsters wife!!!! Cherie may yet extract full revenge against Gordon Brown for perceived attacks whist in Office on her beloved Tony. ( by Gordon)

    This RBS Class Action could well run like Watergate and Nixon, once the US Federal Courts grant the Class Action Legal Team jurisdiction over all the UK citizens, who may be involved. Cherie Blair will of course assist and advise on the List of Names. We could yet see top Civil Servants and others giving evidence in Federal Court, followed by Governmental Ministers and GB at best!! This is why Robert is so keen to throw angry mud at Fred the Shred, to stop the REAL story unfolding now. Anyone wants to follow this see the Drudge Report online.

    Come on Robert, when are you going to write about this US Class Action and all the ramifications? When will you interview Cherie Blair on the subject? If RBS remains in Government hands or is Nationalised, this Federal Court Class Action will move relently on, towards the heart of British Institutions, not just the City. There is no excape, as if those charged ingore a Federal Court, then a Judgement will be made in their absence and called in at the UK High Courts. It is called a "Default Judgement", where the High Court would not discuss the Case on its marits, merely enforce the Federal Court Judgement, if legal and proper.

    RBS was and remains an International Banking Institution and if it has broken US Laws, then God help RBS and all those who sailed in Her. As GB and his merry team are de facot the new Owners, they will have to answer everything in US Courts eventually or make a "default" The Courts nailed Nixon, so why not a few lower level European Bankers, Directors and their Political Masters? If I am thinking this way, what are GB's spinners thinking in No 10? Come on Robert, you have the Story now. I will also bet a pound to a dollar that Tony Blair is wataching this case too. for maximum advantage, naturally. This Case will be the Blair revenge for Brown's complete lack of loyalty, when Tony was PM. Cherie has the knife now, just sharpening it.

  • Comment number 80.

    Long may Fred Goodwin maintain his attitudes and behaviours on his pension.

    It is very profitable for a few, very useful for some and very eudcational for most of us. It certainly helped me in solving some of my puzzles.

  • Comment number 81.

    Puzzled. How could Goodwin get an annual £700K pension from a £16 million pot? That's almost 4.5%. Interest rates are nearly zero, company profits are down, so are dividends, if any.

    Is the £700K guaranteed? If guaranteed, then who is picking the bill for the shortfall?

  • Comment number 82.

    They wont take Sir Fred to court. Sir Fred is in a position to know all sorts of little details of Gordon Brown's attitude to credit while Chancellor. Details that wouldn't look good given subsequent events in the economy. If they go to court then some of that is sure to come-out.

    More than anything else, Gordon doesn't want to be blamed for the economy - so they wont go to court and Sir Fred will keep his pension.

  • Comment number 83.

    Lawyers with different views? Nah. That never happens.

    It won't cost us a penny of course.

    Why Myners didn't ascertain this is a good question. It goes along with all the otehr questions such as:

    (1) How did Fred persuade the board to vote for this? Cronyism? Sounds illegal whatever else is true.
    (2) These are VOTED pension rights and not accrued rights - I believe they can be challenged to a greater extent.
    (3) Why was there no form of core bankruptcy - that allows you to choose which creditors you pay and which you do not. Presumably HMG bailed tehse institutions out because the loss of confidence due to a British bank going bust was percieved to be undesirable, but... you get to choose who you pay. That allows you not to pay:

    (a) The management
    (b) Any pension that is not statutory
    (c) Those due a bonus (or at least only those you deem to be worthy)
    (d) The shareholders
    (e) The bondholders

    Most of (a) through (c) is a given that you do not pay more than a few bonuses at most to lower levels of staff.

    (d) Is tougher - they are investors and the value of their investment went down as warned in the product literature (remember the bit where it says "the value of your investment may go down as well as up"?)
    Except.. that many of these shareholders are pension funds themselves so there may be an economic decision to allow the existing shares to continue. This is questionable of course.

    (e) Is really tough. There are £trillions owed to these people, probably many of them Chinese lenders and therefore much of it is in foreign currency and so tied to their exchange rate rather than ours (gulp). To make the bank bankrupt would be to annoy and undermine the confidence of such people - not a recipe for long-term success if you wish to continue as the world's major financial centre. However, they shouldn't be paid in the strictest sense of capitalism.

    But how do you square this circle politically? If you make the bank bankrupt how do you justify paying off the creditors as above?

    And if you don't, how do you justify paying all of the above?

    I suspect they thought it was easier to pretend not to notice, to have taken their eye off the ball. It could be said that they could still have prevented Fred's pension if they nipped in quickly before the board bunged their old mate a few million, but paying off the creditors
    who took a risk and lost... that's a tough one.

    It could be argued that those people were investing in Britain and so we should make good. But they were actually investing in private companies, so in reality they are only another set of victims of investment.

    Speaking as a voter, I'm not impressed by the way the Govt have hid under a stone on this. Not the least of the problems it has caused is that they have had no say in what is being done with taxpayers' money. It is largely being used to shore up the balance sheets of those will ultimately pay off the creditors in (e) instead of lending to the average Brit to buy a house.

    Had they done it properly they would have been able to control of these issues and could probably have nipped this recession in the bud.

    Of course, had they not insisted on solving every little temporary skills shortage by allowing permanent immigration then we wouldn't have been in recession anyway, since with a lower population we wouldn't need economic growth. Or nowhere near as much of it. Sigh...

    Roll on the next election.

  • Comment number 84.

    Banks perform a useful task in providing capital for necessary industries. However most of the City activities are for gambling which does not add to the real wealth of the nation.

  • Comment number 85.

    Further proof GORDY & THE GANG HAVE NO CLUE!!

  • Comment number 86.

    No mega reward for failure. But there are bigger issues to resolve.
    The trillions, yes trillions stashed away in tax havens, resulting from barely legal 'creative accounting' in many cases, trillions which sustain a shadow banking system worldwide, these trillions need to be made 'visible', accounted for and properly taxed. This is the only way to stop the morally corrupting effect which these trillions have, undermining the rule of law in the global financial system. Robert M. Morgenthau, District Attorney of New York, said nothing less in his letter 'Havens for Tax Evasion' to the New York Times, published there on the 11 March 2009.
    You can read more in detail here:

    http://globalinsights.wordpress.com/2009/03/17/prosecute-unlawfully-megarich/

  • Comment number 87.

    As John McFall said on The BBC Daily Politics show today Fred Goodwyn showed Lord Myners a 'clean pair of heels'.

  • Comment number 88.

    Don't the directors of public companies have a legally binding duty to act in the interests of the shareholders? Clearly, it would be better for the shareholders if the departed Mr Goodwin was paid less, so what justification can be given for RBS employing lawyers to make sure he is massively rewarded?

  • Comment number 89.

    Give him a choice,

    GIVE UP YOUR ENTIRE PENSION ALL THE BONUS YOU EARNED WHILST AT RBS or YOU ARE GOING TO JAIL AND WILL LOSE IT ANYWAY.


    CAPICHE?

  • Comment number 90.

    This is simply yet more distraction from the main issues and the culpability of the politicians. Can we have some serious analysis of the real issues?

  • Comment number 91.

    I might be alone on this but I hope Sir Fred keeps his pension, every penny. And why, because nobody likes a bully and Fred is being bullied by this Government. It is one of the most unsavoury aspects of GBs character.

  • Comment number 92.

    As Tony Blair and Gordon Brown like to say when they're caught out , "It's time to move on ". Goodwin has got his money it's pointless spending millions more on smart lawyers , trying to get it back, the whole process will cost more than the results can justify. Speaking of lawyers, Cherie appears to be coming out of retirement/ holiday to sue the banks (i.e. The British taxpayer ) on behalf of shareholders who lost money. No doubt she will walk away with more of the taxpayer's cash than Goodwin did.

  • Comment number 93.

    The more I see the more disgusting all this greed becomes.

    In the near past top rate of tax was 98%

    This was classed as far too restrictive and encouraged the best people to leave the country. The brain drain it was called.

    So they dropped top rate of tax down to 40%. So why is it that those in the top jobs are such a load of greedy incompetents.

    If this is the best we've got then put the top rate of tax back up to 90% on earnings over 100000 pounds. and let them leave if they want to.

    Couldn't be any worse and at least the taxpayer would gain something.

  • Comment number 94.

    I tend to agree with No 47 and also the Somalia Pirate, Robert.

    Get to some mature, objective, rational and newsworthy issues not the stuff of the Sun. You are playing to the Gallery of emotions far to often these days and frankly insulting the intellgence fo many of your Bloggers.

    No more sound bites or personal vendettas, get us to the meat. When can we get this lousy Government out? How do we, the Electorate sweep the Aegean Stables?

    Did you know that the Jury Team Party was launched today? No comment from the BBC Business Section on Mr Judge trying to get 100 fully independent PMs into Westminster? He is putting his money where his mouth is and funding the whole thing online.

  • Comment number 95.

    Lord Minus (his IQ?) was probably thinking about his OWN pesnion when he gets kicked out as a Govt advisor and gets another cushy job in the city or banking world. IF he had stopped Fred's pension, this would have had a snowball effect and thus would eventually have come back to haunt him when his own retirement came about.

    Incidentally Robert, despite all the huffing and puffing from El Gordo and his little Darling, there appears to be not ONE JOT of legislation proposed so far (apart from Harriet's Law!!) which will impact on Politicians, Bankers and other fat cat Public sector types - WHY NOT. Perhaps you could ask your Lord and Master Broon (in an independent capacity of course because you do work for the BBC)?

  • Comment number 96.

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

  • Comment number 97.

    That Lord Myners has rather a lot to answer for, just because he wanted a cosy solution.

    Nice of Sir Fred to be willing to hand it back, because he is entitled to it under the conditions of pension law.

    Were the executives from Mid Staffs who resigned allowed to keep their pensions or are they also tarred with the "No reward for Failure" brush?

  • Comment number 98.

    This just shows the man has utter contempt for any and everyone.
    Clearly he thinks he is still the man in charge regardless of his ego leading him into the record books as the biggest muppet to have ever run a UK bank delivering the biggest ever recorded loss.

    With all teh micro management this present Prime Minister is capable of it looks liek he has one rule for British taxpayers and another Scottish ones.

    This catastrophic mess just gets worse!

  • Comment number 99.

    #56 writingsonthewall:

    " - something big is starting and it's called ARM and it's going to floor the Western governments who have kidded themselves that 'the worst is over'."

    ++++




    ARM? Is this the 'Adjustable Rate Mortgage' where the first few years are cheap and the later payments quite expensive?

    You are saying the higher rates are about to kick in and that what we have seen in the way of reposessions up to now is as nothing to what is about to occur?




    Or is it the ARMs tied to an Index such as Libor, where, because of the big drop in interest rates, a big drop in payments will occur and the lenders will suffer?


    Please be so good as to explain what you think may happen?


    TYIW (no financial experience)

  • Comment number 100.

    79

    Brilliant, I posted some time ago that this would be what would get them. Thank you jonnyzero66.

    And do not forget which government passed the one sided extradition treaty.

    Oh the irony, oh the joy.

 

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