Sir Fred Goodwin, the former chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS), is receiving a pension of £693,000 a year.
Goodwin stepped down from his position four months ago, soon after RBS was bailed out by the government with the help of £20billion of public money. News of the generous pension pot, worth a total of £16million, comes as RBS Group announced the largest annual loss in UK corporate history. The bank’s 2008 losses totalled £24.1bn, prompting the government to commit a further £13billion to strengthen its balance sheet.
Talking to the BBC, the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, said Goodwin should give up his pension or risk it being clawed back legally. “At my request, [the financial services secretary to HM Treasury] Lord Myners spoke to Sir Fred last night and quite simply asked whether in the circumstances that the bank is now in didn’t [he] think it was right [he] should forgo this?” he said.
UK Financial Investment (UKFI), the offshoot to the treasury which manages taxpayers’ stakes in large UK banks, will reportedly investigate Goodwin’s pension. A spokesman at RBS said: “The company is taking further legal advice in respect of certain aspects of Sir Fred Goodwin’s contractual arrangements and continues to discuss the position with the UKFI.”