NEWS arrow Sir Fred Will Not Give Up £16.6m Pension Pot

Sir Fred Will Not Give Up £16.6m Pension Pot

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Former RBS boss Sir Fred Goodwin says he will not forego his £693,000-a-year pension despite ministerial pressure to give it up.

Sir Fred has written to the Government to say he will not be handing back his £16.6m pension pot.

The Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the Chancellor Alistair Darling have both called on the former bank chief executive to forego some of the money.

And Mr Brown also said that legal action would be taken if necesarry to claw some of the money back.

In his letter to City Minister Lord Myners, Sir Fred wrote: "I am told the topic of my pension was specifically raised with you by both the Chairman of the Group renumeration committee, and the Group Chairman, and you indicated that you were aware of my entitlement and that no further 'gestures' were required."

But it later emerged Lord Myners has already replied to Sir Fred, disputing the banker's claim that he knew the details of his pension arrangements when they were agreed.

Click here to read the reply in full

The Government maintains it only discovered the size of Sir Fred's £16.6m pension pot last week.

Speaking during a visit to Suffolk, Mr Brown said: "I am determined that we pursue, if necessary by legal action, cases where too much money has been taken out in cases where there is less justification that has been claimed for remuneration."

He added: "Failure should not be rewarded. Practices are coming to light which have got to be dealt with."

Mr Darling said ministers had not realised that a decision by the bank's former board to allow Sir Fred to take early retirement had increased his pension entitlement and might have been a "discretionary choice".

He told MPs that UK Financial Investments - the body which manages taxpayers' shareholdings in the part-nationalised banks - has been asked to look into getting back some of the pension deal.

Shadow chancellor George Osborne said: "Whichever way one looks at it, this obscene pension is unacceptable and the Government is on the hook."

The bank's ex-chief executive was known as 'Fred the Shred' for his ruthless cost-cutting.

He is widely seen as the architect of RBS's disastrous strategy of corporate acquisitions, which led to its downfall.

Talking about the future of the bank, RBS chief executive Stephen Hester said "nationalisation would be a distraction".

He told Sky News' Jeff Randall: "It would be a waste of additional taxpayers' money that can be used better elsewhere, but our job is to rebuild the bank whoever owns it."

He said that since joining RBS he had seen "in technicolour what you only see in black and white on the outside".

"But there's not some hidden black hole," he said. He added that the trend in losses would be "pretty grim for a while, reflecting the economic conditions".

Mr Hester said taxpayers had a "good shot" at getting their money back but admitted it "could easily be five years".

Former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott this evening released a straw poll of 3,710 people which found 98.5% of them thought Sir Fred should not receive his full

Sky News article

Last Updated Sunday, 05 June 2011


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