NatWest and RBS chairmen meet this week

ROYAL BANK of Scotland and NatWest are set for informal talks this week as Royal Bank tries again to secure NatWest board backing for its pounds 23bn bid for the English clearer. The talks are chairman-to-chairman and will not involve other board members or advisers.

Viscount Younger, Royal Bank's chairman, is a friend of Sir David Rowland, his opposite number at NatWest, and there are hopes in RBS that the two can this rapport to unblock the position "over a cup of tea".

NatWest has given Royal Bank's offer short shrift since Royal posted its offer document on Thursday. In a statement late on Friday Sir David said that the Royal Bank offer contained "seeds of substantial value destruction".

Royal Bank believes last week's decision by Stephen Byers, the Industry Secretary, clearing its bid has removed one serious obstacle to an agreed deal with NatWest. However, Royal Bank's case has been weakened by its poor share performance, which has substantially reduced the value of its offer since it was tabled more than three weeks ago.

Evidence from the US that bank mergers do not deliver the promised benefits is likely to be the centrepiece of NatWest's defence against Royal Bank. NatWest is expected to post its Royal Bank defence document this week rather than wait until after Christmas. Under the takeover code the document has to be out by 30 December.

NatWest is likely to draw heavily on a report by Deloitte & Touche, the accountants, showing that most US banking mergers fail because banks underestimate the difficulties of integrating IT systems. They also ignore the impact of mergers on employees.

Deloitte is advising Royal Bank in its bid for NatWest and has verified its claim that it can boost pre-tax profits of the combined group by pounds 240m a year by selling more products.

Meanwhile, Bank of Scotland (BoS) is believed to have received a number of expressions of interest for its 56 per cent stake in BankWest, the Australian bank, since appointing Macquarie, the Australian investment bank, to advise it last month.

Most of the interest is believed to come from other Australian banks, although DBS and United Overseas of Singapore, and Hong Kong-based Bank of East Asia may be interested. The pounds 440m the stake may raise could be useful as BoS ponders ways to sweeten its offer for NatWest.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
British author Helen Macdonald, pictured with Costa book of the year, 'H is for Hawk'
booksPanel hail Helen Macdonald's 'brilliantly written, muscular prose' in memoir of a grief-stricken daughter who became obsessed with training a goshawk
Sport
footballLive blog: Follow the action from the Capital One Cup semi-final
Life and Style
food + drink
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

£16500 - £16640 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing Finance compa...

Ashdown Group: Client Services Manager - Relationship Management - London

£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Recruitment Genius: Credit Controller / Customer Service

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...

Guru Careers: In-House / Internal Recruiter

£25 - 28k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An In-house / Internal Recruiter is needed to...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy