Banned RBS director sets up advice firm

Marion Dakers
A FORMER RBS director and right hand man of Sir Fred Goodwin has set up his own business advisory firm, following his agreement with the Financial Services Authority (FSA) never to return to banking.

Johnny Cameron registered Caps Advisory as a business on 19 July, two months after he agreed not to perform any “significant influence function” at a City firm or work full-time in financial services.

The FSA said in May it would permit Cameron to take up part-time consultancy work, provided it does not include financial services activities. Cameron would not say whether the watchdog included this caveat with his new business in mind.

He said he intended to use his experience of the financial world to advise business heads and board members, but stressed his work is not connected to financial services.

“I’m not planning to return to the City at all, and I don’t want to fan the flames of interest. It’s just a tiny bit of consultancy work that I hope to do,” he told City A.M. yesterday.

He said he has lined up the firm’s first client for September, but declined to provide further details.

He admitted in May that, as an RBS director, he takes “a share of responsibility” for the near-collapse in 2008, and said he would not seek another managerial role in the industry.

He headed the RBS investment banking division from 2001 until the bank’s government bailout seven years later.

The FSA did not find that Cameron made any regulatory breaches, and he did not admit any impropriety.

However, the watchdog said at the time: “On the basis of the information available to it, the FSA believes that Cameron would not meet its current standards for approval for a significant influence function.”

Since leaving RBS in January 2009, Cameron has attempted several returns to the City. The watchdog blocked his efforts to take up a role at advisory firm Greenhill while its investigation was ongoing. He left headhunter Odgers Berndtson after UK Financial Investments, which manages the government’s 83 per cent stake in RBS, withdrew a lucrative contract it held with the firm.