LONDON, UK – Fred Goodwin, the former chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), has lost his knighthood.
His title has been cancelled and annulled by the Queen of England, following advice from government officials, the BBC has reported.
Goodwin received the honor from the previous Labour government in June 2004 for “services to banking,” with the approval of the then-Finance Minister Gordon Brown.
Goodwin received heavy criticism over his role in RBS’s near collapse in 2008, after he oversaw a multi-billion-dollar deal to buy Dutch rival ABN Amro at the height of the financial crisis in 2007.
The purchase led to RBS having to be bailed out by British taxpayers, at a cost of around $75 billion – the biggest bank bailout the world has ever seen.
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In losing the honor, Goodwin joins Soviet spy Anthony Blunt and former Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, the Financial Times reported.
Discussing the removal of Goodwin’s knighthood, a Cabinet Office spokesman said that “the scale and severity of the impact of his actions as CEO of RBS made this an exceptional case,” according to the BBC.
He continued: “Both the Financial Services Authority and the Treasury select committee have investigated the reasons for this failure and its consequences.”
"They are clear that the failure of RBS played an important role in the financial crisis of 2008/9 which, together with other macroeconomic factors, triggered the worst recession in the UK since the Second World War and imposed significant direct costs on British taxpayers and businesses. Fred Goodwin was the dominant decision-maker at RBS at the time.”
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