I have learned that the directors who took Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to the brink of collapse in 2008 have been referred to the Government to assess whether they should be disqualified from sitting on company boards.
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is expected to say in its long-awaited report on the failure of RBS that it passed the details of its enforcement investigations into the bank to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills earlier this year.
I’m told that the report says that this took place in order for BIS to examine whether any former RBS directors should face disqualification under the Company Director Disqualification Act. That said, it’s understood that the FSA has not done so in the belief that there actually is a case for the former directors to answer; if it had, it would be very odd in that the FSA has itself concluded that there are no grounds for further action.
The referral of the former directors of RBS, and the emergence of the City regulator’s decision to do so, is likely to put pressure on the Government to seek action against some of those erstwhile board members. They, of course, included Sir Fred Goodwin, the former chief executive, Sir Tom McKillop, the former chairman, Peter Sutherland, the former BP chairman, and Sir Steve Robson, the former Treasury official.