Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the move against the man who led the bank into near collapse and called it “the right decision.”

“The FSA report into what went wrong at RBS made clear where the failures lay and who was responsible,” he said in a statement.

Revoking a knighthood is a rare act, but the government said “the scale and severity of the impact of his actions as CEO of RBS made this an exceptional case.”

Since leaving RBS in 2008 with a multimillion-dollar pension as the bank was foundering, Goodwin has become a high-profile public villain of the financial crisis.

Goodwin built the RBS into one of the world’s largest banks and was knighted in 2004 for services to banking.

But he led the bank to disaster four years later with a takeover of the Dutch bank ABN Amro, paying a high price just as the credit crisis was starting to bite.

Goodwin resigned in October 2008 as the bank was failing, provoking the public’s ire by leaving with 16 million pounds ($25 million) in pension benefits.

The British government spent 45 billion pounds bailing out and nationalizing RBS, and taxpayers now own an 82 percent stake.

Queen Elizabeth II removed Goodwin’s title on the advice of the Forfeiture Committee, which usually acts only against people sentenced to more than three months in prison for a criminal offense, or who have lost their professional license or been censured by a regulatory or professional body.