Investor snub

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The Independent Online
One of NatWest's leading shareholders has rejected Lord Alexander's offer of an early meeting to discuss the future of NatWest Markets, the troubled investment banking subsidiary of the high-street bank.

The NatWest chairman last week wrote to 12 leading institutional shareholders offering a meeting in the wake of a shock profits warning that cut more than 5 per cent off the bank's stock market value.

According to an executive at the shareholder in question, the institution told Lord Alexander it would rather wait until the review of Nat-West Markets was finished and the results made available. "The business has not hit its target returns on the money invested in it, and the question is whether it is ever likely to do so," said the executive.

Derek Wanless, NatWest's chief executive, said the report into the derivatives loss will be finished by the end of June.