Today’s Financial Times published my letter to the Editor concerning Fred Goodwin. Here is the letter in full.
From Mr T.C. Smith.
Sir, For Fred Goodwin to follow in the footsteps of traitors, dictators and fraudsters in being stripped of his knighthood seems extreme. He did not make the decisions that produced such a disastrous outcome for the Royal Bank of Scotland alone. He shared responsibility with the board chaired by Sir Tom McKillop, and the fateful acquisition of ABN Amro was approved by the RBS shareholders. Banking is also a highly regulated industry and his actions were supervised by the Financial Services Authority, then chaired by Sir Callum McCarthy.
But if the current mood is for those in the financial services industry who received honours in those times and who made mistakes to be stripped of their titles in order to “appease” the public, as UK prime minister David Cameron suggests, surely attention should now focus on the honorary knighthood bestowed upon Alan Greenspan in 2002 for his “contribution to global economic stability”.
Chief Executive, Tullett Prebon,
Chief Executive, Fundsmith,
London EC2, UK