Page last updated at 15:38 GMT, Sunday, 1 March 2009

RBS pays for Sir Fred's security

Sir Fred Goodwin
Sir Fred has faced intense pressure over the size of his pension fund

Royal Bank of Scotland is still paying personal security costs for its former chief executive, Sir Fred Goodwin.

The bank is providing CCTV monitoring of his Edinburgh home and security staff to keep photographers at bay.

Sir Fred, 50, is facing intense political and public pressure over his 693,000 pension, despite leaving the bank with massive losses.

An RBS spokesman said it was standard to provide security for executives and cover would be withdrawn within weeks.

Sir Fred's pension fund doubled to 16m last October when he agreed to take early retirement.

'Not appropriate'

The Treasury, which pumped 20bn into the struggling bank, was anxious to get new management in place.

The UK Government is now trying to claw back the money, saying it was misled into thinking the pension was legally binding.

Commenting on the security arrangements, Shadow Chancellor George Osborne told BBC Scotland's Politics Show: "I don't think it is appropriate, and I think most people will find it surprising.

"It's good news that the current management is going to withdraw that support. It's not appropriate the taxpayer should be providing any more benefits to Sir Fred Goodwin."

The government pumped billions into RBS in October to keep it afloat, and currently owns a stake of more than 70% in the bank, which announced the largest annual loss in UK corporate history, totalling 24.1bn in 2008.

Meanwhile, Deputy Labour Leader Harriet Harman has told the BBC Sir Fred should not "count on" keeping his full pension.

She described the settlement - agreed by the RBS board - as "money for nothing".

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