Fiona Duff: Fred should keep his head down

Former RBS chief Fred Goodwin. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Former RBS chief Fred Goodwin. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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So let me get this right. Shortly before the Royal Bank of Scotland collapsed in 2008, Fred Goodwin and a couple of his director cronies decided to raise some money by creating some more shares to sell.

It seems that these chaps from RBS may have been a tad economic with the truth – indeed some go further in their description of how the true state of the bank was withheld from potential investors.

When the bank collapsed and the UK government had to step in to make sure it didn’t collapse completely, Gordon Brown and Alastair Darling didn’t have the gumption to fire Mr Goodwin. Instead he fell on his sword and resigned. How noble, except that being brighter than the two men trying to run the country he realised that he’d keep his pension of several hundred grand a year. How lovely for him.

Needless to say, there are several disgruntled parties who bought the shares eight years ago and they are now suing four former directors of RBS.

The lawyers defending the quartet have now submitted a bill of over £100 million. And the case hasn’t even come to court.

Now, just in case you have missed anything, the government still owns 72 per cent of the bank so the majority of this bill will come from our taxes. That is £72m which could have gone on schools, the NHS or anything rather than saving the slippery skin of the very people behind the bank’s ruin.

I just don’t know what is wrong with the world. First I would like an itemised bill from the lawyers and secondly I’d to see Goodwin tarred, feathered and chased down George Street when we could all throw rotten eggs at him. It might all get a bit smelly but wouldn’t it be fun.

It might also put an end to his attempts to try and ingratiate himself in “Edinburgh society”. However, if he does succeed, just don’t let him become the treasurer.