Barclays scotches NatWest bid talk
Monday 23 June 1997
NatWest is seen as being vulnerable to a bid after its failed merger approach to Abbey National and the profits warning which accompanied last week's departure of Martin Owen, chief executive of its investment banking arm, NatWest Markets.
But a spokesman said it had not received any approach from Barclays, nor was there pressure from institutional shareholders for further top management changes. There have been mutterings about the position of Lord Alexander, its chairman, and Derek Wanless, chief executive.
A merger between Barclays and NatWest would create a banking colossus equal in size to Lloyds TSB in terms of market capitalisation. But it would face daunting political and regulatory hurdles because of the heavy job losses and branch closures that would inevitably follow and the dominant position the combined group would have in personal banking and corporate lending.
Together, Barclays and NatWest would account for 40 per cent of all personal bank accounts in the UK and over 50 per cent of the market for lending to small and medium-sized businesses. A merger would also bring together the country's two biggest credit card issuers.
For those reasons one banking source said yesterday: "I cannot think this is a serious proposition." It was also pointed out that Martin Taylor, chief executive of Barclays, is not interested in turning the bank into a monolith, believing the quality of its loan book is far more important than its size.
Barclays is capitalised at pounds 17.7bn and has 8 million customers, 85,000 staff, 2,000 branches and total assets of pounds 186bn. NatWest is valued at pounds 12.8bn and has 7.5 million customers, 71,000 staff, just over 1,900 branches and assets of pounds 185bn.
Mr Owen's departure follows the discovery of a pounds 90m hole in NWM's interest rate options business. He is expected to receive a pay-off of about pounds 1m. The trader at the centre of the losses, Kyriacos Papouis, left NatWest last year and four other senior managers have been suspended. Separately there were reports yesterday that NWM's equity business has been put under review.
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 Doctors remove 80 teeth from boy's jaw
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
- 5 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
Germany and ECB set for fight over money-printing
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
Syrian teenager Usaid Barho reveals how he escaped from Isis using a suicide vest
Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
iJobs Money & Business
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Global Equity | New Yor...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...
Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...