Goodwin’s gong under threat from civil servants as pressure grows on Hester

A KEY Whitehall committee will meet this week to discuss whether Sir Fred Goodwin should be stripped of his knighthood, David Cameron has said.

The Honours Forfeiture Committee will consider “all of the evidence”, the Prime Minister said yesterday. The evidence will include the FSA’s damning report on the near-collapse of Royal Bank of Scotland. City A.M. understands, however, that a final decision will not be made for at least a fortnight. Goodwin was knighted in 2004 for services to banking.

Meanwhile Goodwin’s successor, Stephen Hester, is expected to receive a bonus of less than £1m. The government has put huge pressure on RBS and it is understood talks are continuing. The Treasury has demanded the bonus is paid entirely in shares and is deferred.

Hester is entitled to a salary and bonus of up to £7.6m, including up to £4m in share-based payments, but this is unlikely because the bank’s stock closed at 26.75p last night – well below the government’s break-even price of 51p.

The Treasury said no decision had been made. Cameron has previously said RBS’s bonus pool will be lower this year.