No won­der Fred the Shred is laugh­ing all the way to the bank

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - News - By Lor­raine Kelly

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.

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