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Merger of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and National Westminster Bank

The merger of The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and National Westminster Bank (Nat West) as well as other major British banks including Barclays and Woolwich Building Society has created major economical and social interest boasting scholarly debate.

It is important to understand why such mergers take place and the potential gains of doing so. The RBS and Nat West merger was formed in delivering Nat West from inefficiencies of poor services originally formulated from the merger bid proposed by the Bank of Scotland. Nat West will benefit from the forward thinking impact present at the RBS Group. The entrepreneurial spirit will help the bank as well as the whole merger to move forwards in a highly competitive market simultaneously maximising customer satisfaction - a major key to survival in this industry. Impact on shareholders during the merger or discussion process can vary bringing about instability and lack of confidence. Following the completion of the RBS £20.8 billion bid; share yields rose in price to an attractive level in line with the UK economy thereby portraying the strength of the merger. In essence the driving force behind the success of the RBS bid over the Royal Bank of Scotland was in fact the higher share price expectations offering the perfect icing. There are many foreseeable benefits of merging to create a larger customer base, maintaining market power and ultimately reducing risk (, 2006). However, in the reshuffling process redundancies and unemployment are highly evident. A BBC News article revealed that the RBS hopes to achieve efficient operation by cutting costs by £1 billion thereby threatening 18,000 Nat West Employees (Friday, 11 February, 2000). Nevertheless, employee downsizing moves with the financial services market where the shift from branch based services to E-commerce in terms of internet and telephone banking services. Henceforth, new areas of employment are created accommodating an advancing system thereby giving scope to major economies of scale. Thus the merger boasts upon innovation and development where further employees will be trained to the highest standards to deliver customer services and knowledge of products achieving greater efficiency. Today the RBS and Nat West group are growing from strength to strength with worldwide status and second largest market capitalisation within Europe. The rise of this super bank portrays the positive impact of combating competition and placing the consumer at the heart of merger proposals.


Anderton, A (2001) Economics Third Edition, Causeway Press
BBC News Articles;
Thursday, 27 January, 2000, ‘Bank of Scotland: bold move by UK's oldest bank’
Friday, 11 February, 2000, ‘Nat West merger's mixed fortunes’
Monday, 7 February, 2000, ‘Banking on size to compete’
Papers For You (2006) "P/F/125. Master's Dissertation. UK Banks' Merger: Evidence from 1995-2001 Period", Available from [17/06/2006]

Papers For You (2006) "P/F/73. Synergy from the Mergers and Acquisitions: cases of two real mergers (Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest; Barclays Bank and the Woolwich)"Feature Articles, Available from [18/06/2006]

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Copyright © 2006 Verena Veneeva. Professional Writer working for

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