February 27, 2009

Government approved pension, exec says

Former Royal Bank of Scotland executive Fred Goodwin said British Financial Services Secretary Paul Myners approved his $1 million annual pension pay.

At the highest ranks in the British Treasury, including Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling, the government has asked Goodwin to return some of the pension he was granted last year, The Independent reported Friday.

But, Goodwin, who retired at age 50 after leading the bank to an annual loss of $34 billion, has refused the invitation to voluntarily return any of the money.

In a letter sent to Myners Thursday, Goodwin said he had been informed his pension was specifically raised by you "¦ and you indicated that you were aware of my entitlement and that no further gestures would be required.

Myners, however, denied he had approved the pension, which he called unfortunate and unacceptable.

UK Financial Investments, which oversees the government's bailout investments in British banks, said it was looking for means to employ a clawback provision that would force Goodwin to return all or part of the pension.

Saying, failure should not be rewarded, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has threatened to take legal action reclaim a portion of the pension, the newspaper said.