No wonder Fred the Shred is laughing all the way to the bank
HE is the high-flying executive widely blamed for bringing the biggest bank in the world crashing to its knees.
It was Fred ‘The Shred’ Goodwin who propelled the Royal Bank of Scotland into becoming a global conglomerate worth £2.2 trillion – only to watch it collapse so catastrophically that it had to be saved by a £45.5 billion cash injection from the UK Government.
But today, while millions of people continue to feel the painful after-effects of the crash – with thousands of ordinary households now thousands of pounds worse off – the former RBS chief executive is still living a life of luxury.
Since the bailout, he has raked in £6 million – on top of the £2.7 million tax-free lump sum he was awarded on his departure – and receives £342,500 a year from a pension pot which is now said to be worth £17 million.
The 60-year-old still boasts a membership of the exclusive Archerfield Links golf club, situated on a private estate outside Edinburgh, which is also enjoyed by famous sportsmen such as Alan Shearer, Ian Botham and Ryan Giggs. For this he pays a debenture of £30,000 and an annual subscription fee of £2,700.
Meanwhile he continues to collect expensive classic cars as a side interest – including the rare 1988 BMW in which he was pictured leaving his lavish Edinburgh home last week.
During his reign – a period now described as being fraught with reckless lending and greed – the disgraced former banker was voted the most powerful businessman in Scotland for four years in a row, and took home millions of pounds each year.
He was knighted by Tony Blair in 2004, appointed chairman of the Prince’s Trust charity and hailed by the influential global business magazine Forbes as ‘the world’s greatest banker’.
Meanwhile, he spent the bank’s profits on luxuries such as an £18 million company jet and a permanent suite at The Savoy, costing £700,000 a year. At the same time he paid his sporting heroes, including Sir Jackie Stewart, Andy Murray and Jack Nicklaus, millions to act as RBS ‘ambassadors’.
In 2008, after the bank took over the toxic Dutch bank ABN Amro for £49 billion, RBS started to go under and only survived by being bailed out by UK taxpayers.
To this day, Goodwin has never been publicly called to account for his handling of the bank during his time at the helm.
The disgraced high-flyer was stripped of his knighthood in 2012 for the role he played in bringing down the bank, and his marriage came to an abrupt end when he was caught having an affair with an RBS employee – resulting in a divorce in 2016 from his wife Joyce, with whom he had two children.
But despite such setbacks, his gilded lifestyle seems to have continued without a hitch.