Scotland business

Sir Fred Goodwin's RBS apology to be broadcast

Image caption Sir Fred Goodwin told investors he was 'extremely sorry'

Footage of Sir Fred Goodwin apologising to Royal Bank of Scotland shareholders is to be shown on television for the first time.

The BBC Scotland documentary comes on the third anniversary of the bail-out of the Edinburgh-based banking group by the British taxpayer.

RBS ran up the biggest corporate loss in British history.

His apology will be shown on Monday in RBS: Inside the Bank that Ran Out of Money.

Apart from showing the former chief executive's final encounter with investors, the documentary will also include other unseen footage of meetings with analysts and journalists, including one where Sir Fred Goodwin states that the bank's exposure to the sub-prime market in the United States was limited.

In the Edinburgh shareholders meeting, an investor, Mr Blackie, asked Sir Fred to apologise.

The outgoing chairman Sir Tom McKillop replies: "Well, I can only ask Fred to say whatever he chooses to say."

Sir Fred Goodwin rises to his feet and says: "Well, Mr Blackie - wouldn't want there to be any doubt. I am extremely sorry.

"I echo the sentiments and - I am extremely sorry, extremely sad to be leaving the company at these extremely difficult times.

"There can be no question other than that I am extremely sorry."

Rapid decline

The BBC documentary also discusses the bank's fall from grace with key figures, including former RBS chief executive and chairman, Sir George Mathewson, former RBS director Gordon Pell, Iain Robertson, RBS's former head of corporate banking, and Sir Peter Burt, who was chief executive of Bank of Scotland when it was outbid for the National Westminster Bank.

They reveal the culture of RBS, its strategy as it became a global organisation and the mistakes, such as its involvement in the US sub-prime property market, that triggered a rapid decline.

Former employees reveal that Sir Fred used his intellect to "bully" staff and inhibit even senior staff from expressing their views.

RBS's enthusiastic pursuit of the Dutch-based banking group, ABN Amro, also comes under the microscope.

RBS: Inside the Bank that Ran Out of Money will be broadcast on BBC One Scotland at 21:00 on Monday, 17 October.

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