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Fred Goodwin avoids criminal prosecution over near collapse of RBS

Fred Goodwin was chief executive of the bank.
Fred Goodwin was chief executive of the bank.

Former Royal Bank of Scotland boss Fred Goodwin has avoided criminal charges relating to the bank’s near collapse in 2008 after an investigation found “insufficient evidence” to charge any individual.

Prosecutors in Scotland have been investigating the bank, which came close to collapse at the height of the financial crisis, for five years.

The Government was forced to bail the bank out by pumping £45 billion of taxpayers’ money into the lender in 2008.

Mr Goodwin came under fire for his part in the crisis and was eventually stripped of his knighthood in 2012 because of the “scale and severity of the impact of his actions”.

A statement from the Crown Office said: “The Crown’s investigation focused on the rights issue of April to June 2008, and involved detailed consideration of whether there was any evidence of criminal conduct associated with the rights issue.

“Following careful examination of all the evidence seen to date, Crown counsel have decided that there is insufficient evidence in law of criminal conduct either in relation to RBS as an institution or any directors or other senior management involved in the rights issue.

“If any further evidence comes to light which is relevant to this inquiry it will be considered by the Crown and we reserve the right to make further inquiry, if considered appropriate.”

File photo dated 27/01/12 of a general view of signage outside the Royal Bank of Scotland headquarters in Edinburgh. The bank has revealed that it has swung out of the red with pre-tax profits if £1.4 billion in the first six months of 2013.  PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday August 2, 2013. See PA story CITY RBS. Photo credit should read: David Cheskin/PA Wire
Prosecutors have been investigating the bank for five years.

A spokesman for the Crown Office said it had been an “extremely complex investigation”, including examining more than 160,000 documents by a team of specialist forensic accountants and banking experts, supervised by the Serious and Organised Crime Division.

Close co-operation with a range of financial regulators and banking institutions, including the Financial Conduct Authority, the Prudential Regulation Authority, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Reporting Council, was also involved in the probe.

He added: “The failure of RBS is an issue of great public concern. The Crown undertook a thorough, independent investigation following publication of the FSA (now FCA) report in December 2011.”

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