April 3, 2009

Shareholders press Goodwin on pension pay

Angry shareholders gathered for a Royal Bank of Scotland shareholders' meeting Friday prepared to vote no on the bank's controversial remuneration report.

The report includes the bank board's agreement to double former Chairman Fred Goodwin's pension to $25 million, which was granted the same weekend in October the bank accepted a massive government bailout deal, The Guardian reported.

The meeting was taking place in Gogarburn, Scotland, where RBS has its headquarters.

The bank's new Chairman Philip Hampton said he has asked Goodwin if he would consider a voluntary reduction of the pension. In a prepared statement, Hampton said the bank was looking into the issue with more lawyers than you can shake a stick at.

Shareholder John Macpherson told The Guardian, I think a man who wanted to be able to continue to live in polite society should return at least part of the pension.

In a packed meeting, shareholders described Goodwin as a benefit scrooge on a massive scale and described his leadership as a cataclysmic failure the newspaper said.

One shareholder was applauded when he said he thought the board members who approved the pension should be in jail, The Guardian said.

Goodwin, so far, has resisted pressure to return any of the pension, which comes with an annual payoff of $1.04 million a year.