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
peopleComedian launches stinging attack on PM
Life and Style
The collection displayed Versace’s softer side, with models wearing flowers and chiffon dresses in unusual colourings
fashionVersace haute couture review
News
Andy Murray shakes hands after defeating Andreas Seppi of Italy in the third round of Wimbledon, Saturday 4 July, 2015
Wimbledon
Arts and Entertainment
'The Leaf'
artYes, it's a leaf, but a potentially very expensive one
News
Yoko Ono at the Royal Festival Hall for Double Fantasy Live
people'I wont let him destroy memory of John Lennon or The Beatles'
News
Could Greece leave the EU?
news
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
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: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'