£17m Fred the Shred’s devil may care smirk

» 10 years on from crash, ex-RBS boss lives high life » But mil­lions of or­di­nary peo­ple are £23K worse off

Daily Record - - FRONT PAGE - BY GRAHAM HISCOTT

Dis­graced RBS boss Fred “The Shred” Good­win clearly doesn’t care if peo­ple think he’s the devil in­car­nate – be­cause he’s pock­et­ing a huge pen­sion.

WITH mil­lions of peo­ple still suf­fer­ing the af­ter-ef­fects of the dev­as­tat­ing fi­nan­cial crash 10 years on, smug Fred “The Shred” Good­win clearly has no such wor­ries.

The for­mer Royal Bank of Scot­land boss was pic­tured smirk­ing in one of his clas­sic cars – and he has plenty to smile about af­ter it emerged his pen­sion pot is worth £17mil­lion.

He has al­ready raked in £6mil­lion since quit­ting in dis­grace a decade ago, with a £2.8mil­lion lump sum.

But it is a very dif­fer­ent story for the mil­lions of or­di­nary house­holds who are on av­er­age £23,400 a year worse off thanks to the crash that Good­win and other gam­bling bankers caused.

And he seems to be show­ing lit­tle re­morse over the 90,000 RBS jobs lost or the bil­lions of pounds forked out by tax­pay­ers to res­cue his doomed bank.

His clear dis­re­gard for those left trail­ing in the wake of the dev­as­tat­ing fi­nan­cial dis­as­ter as he en­joys a £450,000 a year pen­sion last night sparked fury.

Robin Hood Tax cam­paign di­rec­tor David Hillman said: “Good­win sym­bol­ises the height of un­fair­ness.

“Af­ter driv­ing his bank into the ground, he walked off with a golden hand­shake.

“No won­der he’s still grin­ning from ear to ear 10 years later.”

Good­win was pic­tured be­hind the wheel of his £12,000 rare 1988 BMW 635CSi with the apt plate 666 – the num­ber of the beast in the Bi­ble.

Wear­ing shades, he drove off from his large house in Ed­in­burgh’s plush Grange area.

The BMW is be­lieved to be one of a num­ber of clas­sic cars he owns. He has also been seen driv­ing a convertible Tri­umph Stag to play 18 holes of golf at his course at Archer­field in East Loth­ian, with fees of £30,000.

The crash hap­pened af­ter Wall Street gi­ants Lehman Broth­ers dra­mat­i­cally col­lapsed, send­ing the world’s fi­nan­cial sys­tem into meltdown.

Bri­tain’s big banks were plunged into chaos by the sub­se­quent credit crunch, lead­ing to a £130bil­lion bailout.

RBS, who had mor­phed into the world’s big­gest bank through a wave of ques­tion­able takeovers, were res­cued from the brink of col­lapse the fol­low­ing month. For those at the wrong end of the fi­nan­cial scale, the crash caused noth­ing but mis­ery as the Gov­ern­ment dipped into the pub­lic purse to save the banks.

Crip­pling aus­ter­ity has un­leashed an­guish on mil­lions of the poor­est. And yet no se­nior banker has been jailed in the UK for the scan­dal. For many, Good­win

per­son­i­fies those who prof­ited from the boom times be­fore the crash and walked away from the mess scot-free. Dur­ing his eight years in charge, the for­mer ac­coun­tant turned RBS into the world’s big­gest bank by as­sets, a £64bil­lion global Go­liath with 200,000 staff. In­sid­ers claim af­ter he was named as Forbes’ Busi­ness­man of the Year in 2002, it in­stilled a “supreme ar­ro­gance” in him. One source said he be­lieved he could “walk on wa­ter” and added: “He was seen as some kind of bank­ing demigod.”

Crit­ics say Good­win’s reign was marked by reck­less lend­ing and a se­ries of takeovers, in­clud­ing NatWest and the dis­as­trous ac­qui­si­tion of Dutch bank ABN Am­bro in 2007.

It is claimed RBS paid over the odds and failed to carry out suf­fi­cient checks.

The bank lav­ished prof­its on lux­u­ries such as an £18mil­lion com­pany jet and a per­ma­nent suite at Lon­don ho­tel The Savoy cost­ing £700,000 a year. But

It is the height of un­fair­ness. No won­der he is grin­ning from ear to ear 10 years later. DAVID HILLMAN DI­REC­TOR ROBIN HOOD TAX CAM­PAIGN

de­spite the car­nage left be­hind by the RBS, Good­win in­sists he has done noth­ing wrong.

Au­thor Ian Fraser said: “De­spite the fact he has been os­tracised by the pub­lic, he has been ac­cepted by el­e­ments of the Scot­tish es­tab­lish­ment.

“But then, Fred would ex­pect noth­ing else. Per­haps the most shock­ing as­pect of the RBS story is that he re­mains un­re­pen­tant and de­fi­ant.

“He still be­lieves he wasn’t re­spon­si­ble and blames oth­ers. His lack of re­morse and hu­mil­ity has been a com­mon trait through­out this whole af­fair.”

An ac­quain­tance of Good­win’s dis­agreed, in­sist­ing: “He felt deeply wounded by what peo­ple said.”

In 2012, Good­win was stripped of his knight­hood, which had been handed to him by Tony Blair.

He was also re­port­edly turfed out of the fam­ily home by wife Joyce af­ter she dis­cov­ered he was hav­ing an af­fair with a col­league. The cou­ple, who have two chil­dren, di­vorced in 2016. The Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Au­thor­ity, cleared Good­win of any wrong­do­ing over the col­lapse of RBS. But he is be­ing sued for up to £3bil­lion by Tai­wanese ship­ping mag­nate Nobu Su, the bil­lion­aire chair­man of To­day Makes To­mor­row. He ac­cuses Good­win, along with two for­mer col­leagues and the bank, of “hi­jack­ing” TMT’s ac­counts and us­ing them as “un­lim­ited cash ma­chines”. It is be­lieved to be one of the big­gest law­suits ever against a UK in­di­vid­ual.

As Good­win con­tin­ues his high life to­day, Shadow Chan­cel­lor John McDonnell is due to ad­dress a rally or­gan­ised by the coali­tion 10 Years On out­side the Bank of Eng­land.

He will say: “One of the key les­sons to be learnt from the crash is that never again must we al­low fi­nance to be­come the mas­ter of the econ­omy, rather than its ser­vant.”

A cam­paign­ing pen­sioner is fight­ing for thou­sands of peo­ple who lost money in the fall of North­ern Rock.

Den­nis Grainger, 72, said the Gov­ern­ment are mak­ing £9.6bil­lion profit on the £37bil­lion used to bail out the New­cas­tle-based bank.

But he added: “They are say­ing that is go­ing to keep the prof­its to off­set the losses they made on RBS and other banks.”

CARE­FREE At Archer­field course DEVIL-MAY-CARE Good­win in his BMW with 666 plate RES­CUED RBS were left on the brink of col­lapse

NOW Grin­ning ex-boss at the wheel 2008 The then chief ex­ec­u­tive of RBS

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