Sir Fred Goodwin – Make corporate recklessness a crime

Bosses must be held personally liable for negligent decisions


London – 1 February 2012

“Stripping Sir Fred Goodwin of his knighthood is a merely symbolic gesture. What’s needed are criminal sanctions to ensure greater corporate responsibility,” said human rights and social justice campaigner, Peter Tatchell.

“Corporate negligence and recklessness should be made an explicit criminal offence, to reign in big business cowboys and ensure more responsible economic management. Bosses should be held personally liable for losses that result from imprudent, careless decisions.

“If the medical profession can have disciplinary procedures for negligent actions, why not business?

“Bankers and company bosses should not be able to wreck whole economies and squander with impunity people’s jobs, pensions and savings. They ought to be personally accountable for irresponsible and damaging corporate decisions.

“The spectre of legal penalties is likely to result in more prudent corporate governance.

“Sir Fred Goodwin would not have gambled with RBS if he’d known that he could have ended up in jail and had to pay compensation for the harm he caused,” said Mr Tatchell.