May 2024

Why weren’t RBS bosses, Fred Goodwin and Tom McKillop prosecuted?

Britain’s largest banking failure was the RBS, named Global Bank of the Year by The Banker magazine, a year or so before the bank’s implosion. Here Britain’s number one failed banker was former Deloittes accountant Fred Goodwin, Forbes Magazine Businessman of the Year in 2002. In early 2008, Fred was able to announce record results for 2007: ‘For the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, 2007 was defined by another strong operating performance and by the acquisition of ABN Amro’. Fred helpfully explained to the world at large why his bank was so successful: ‘Delivering such a robust financial performance in this environment is the consequence of action in two areas: over a number of years we have diversified the Group’s income streams and last year also saw us benefit from our focus on credit quality and risk management’.

As tens of billions of pounds of our money poured into the black hole that was and unfortunately still is the RBS, some of us might be tempted to wonder whether Fred’s claim of ‘focus on credit quality and risk management’ might not constitute a crime for gross misuse and abuse of the English language. It might even be construed as misleading shareholders and therefore worthy of prosecution.

Just before the bank’s ignominious collapse, Fred’s chairman, the £750,000 a year former pharmaceuticals boss Sir Tom McKillop also seemed proud of the bank’s diversification strategy and admirable credit control: ‘We have witnessed the benefits of the Group’s long-standing focus on credit quality and the diversification of our income streams which have allowed us to deliver record profits’.

At no time do RBS’s accountants, Fred’s former employer Deloittes, seem to have questioned the glowing self-congratulations of the bank’s bosses nor any of the dodgy numbers Fred and Sir Tom used to demonstrate the bank’s supposedly admirable profitability and financial strength.

IMHO the statements made by Goodwin and McKillop, shortly before the bank collapsed, are intended to mislead shareholders. So these two (IMHO) lying scumbags should be prosecuted. But, of course, they were mates of Tony and Gordon and are part of the elite of politicians, bureaucrats and bankers who have free rein to fleece the rest of us without ever suffering any consequences for their negligence, incompetence and dishonesty.

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