Fred Goodwin, who was Chief Executive of RBS between 2001 and 2009, was known as “Fred the Shred,” on account of his knack for paring costs. More than 20 takeovers helped him transform RBS into a world beater after he assumed control in 2000 and by 2008 RBS was the fifth-largest bank in the world in terms of market capitalisation.
One factor in its rise was its enthusiasm for supporting leveraged buyouts. In 2007, Goodwin led a $100 billion takeover of Dutch rival ABN Amro, which proved disastrous and led to the near-collapse of RBS in the October 2008 as a result of the liquidity crisis. In October 2008 the British government had to pump $30 billion into the bank, which resulted in the government owning a majority of the shares. Following two rights issues, Goodwin resigned as Chief Executive in October 2008.
Following this there were discussions about his pension, so on 18 June 2009, RBS stated that Goodwin’s pension was to be reduced from £555,000 a year to £342,500. At the same time he took out an estimated £2.7 million tax-free lump sum, but an RBS internal inquiry into Goodwin’s conduct, which found no wrongdoing. He was stripped of his knighthood in 2012.
In June 2017 a group of up to 9,000 shareholders, including 18 corporate investors, customers and former RBS employees bought a case against the bank and a handful of former executives including.