Goodwin still on the hook for RBS debacle

The Herald newspaper have reported an astonishing attempt by the lawyers for Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to have Fred Goodwin excluded from the legal case over the rights issue in 2008. They wanted four former directors removed from the case so as to streamline proceedings. However the judge presiding over the case threw this attempt out.

The directors signed off the prospectus and hence should surely be accountable for what the plaintiffs claim was a misleading document. But the lawyer for RBS said “If people’s feet are held too closely to the fire there will always be a sense of injustice“. Perhaps former RBS shareholders might wish Fred Goodwin’s feet to be held to the fire as they assign a lot of blame to Goodwin for the difficulties of RBS which required a massive Government bail-out soon after. The RBS legal team also wished to delay the case but Mr Justice Hildyard rejected that representation in addition.

Incidentally a very good book on the events in the banking crisis in 2008 has recently been published called “Black Horse Ride” by Ivan Fallon. It more specifically covers the story of Lloyds TSB, it’s failure to take over Northern Rock which eventually led to the nationalisation of that company, and the disastrous subsequent merger with HBOS – at least as far as shareholders in Lloyds were concerned. It is obviously based on the reminiscences of some of the key players including then Chairman Sir Victor Blank and CEO Eric Daniels. Indeed it could almost be seen as an apologia for their actions. There will be a more extensive review of the book in a future ShareSoc Newsletter.

Roger Lawson

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