City regulator banishes Sir Fred’s RBS sidekick

SIR Fred Goodwin’s former right hand man at the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) faces a blanket ban on full-time employment in the City for the rest of his career, under a ruling imposed yesterday by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

The regulator’s draconian verdict came after a year-long investigation into the role played by Johnny Cameron in the near-collapse of RBS, where he was an executive director and chairman of global markets.

In a statement yesterday, the FSA said it had settled with Cameron on the basis that he will not “perform any significant influence function in relation to any regulated activity” in the future or “undertake any further full time employment in the financial services industry”.

However, it left Cameron with a sliver of hope by agreeing that he will be able to engage in part-time financial services consultancy work in the future.

Sources close to the banker said he would now take time out to consider his next career move.

Cameron said in a statement: “Given the losses sustained by RBS in 2008, as a director… I recognise that it is appropriate that I take my share of responsibility, and I will not be seeking another managerial role in the financial services industry.”

Last year, repeated attempts by Cameron to find a new job in the industry met with an icy reception. After RBS was bailed out by the government, he originally held talks about a position at investment bank Greenhill, but had to walk away when the FSA indicated it would not approve the appointment.

Just months later, he was hired as a senior adviser at headhunter Odgers Berndtson, co-headed by former Tory minister Virginia Bottomley, but was forced into an embarrassing climb-down when UK Financial Investments, the group set up to manage the taxpayer’s bank stakes, vetoed the firm’s mandate to find its new chief executive because of the appointment.

Yet despite this, Cameron is still widely respected by his peers in the financial services sector. He is understood to have received a number of job offers from City banks before electing to take up a less – but ultimately too – controversial headhunting role.

He started his career as a consultant at McKinsey before working at County NatWest and Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, where he latterly co-headed all of the firm’s investment banking-related financing businesses. He was at RBS for a total of ten years.