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Former RBS chief loses knighthood

LONDON, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Sir Fred Goodwin, former head of the Royal Bank of Scotland, became plain Mr. Goodwin when his knighthood was taken away Tuesday.

The action was taken by Queen Elizabeth II on the recommendation of a forfeiture committee of five senior civil servants, The Guardian reported. Prime Minister David Cameron supported a campaign to dishonor Goodwin begun by the Daily Mail.

Goodwin received the knighthood for services to banking in 2004 when the Labor Party was in power.

The action was unusual in that Goodwin had not been convicted of a crime. Others who have lost knighthoods have included Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and Anthony Blunt, the art historian revealed late in life to have been a Soviet spy.

The committee put out a public statement justifying the decision. It cited the millions of pounds in public money needed to shore up RBS after what is now seen as reckless financial activity. He was described as the "dominant decision maker" in the bank.

"The scale and the severity of the impact of his actions as chief executive officer of RBS made this an exceptional case," the committee said.

Mark Field, a Conservative member of Parliament, called for a review of peerages, suggesting that sitting in the House of Lords is far more important than the "bauble" of a knighthood.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

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