NatWest taking 15% of new accounts, says RBS

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The Independent Online

Royal Bank of Scotland yesterday said it has driven up NatWest's share of new current accounts by a third to 15 per cent since it bought the bank earlier this year.

Royal Bank of Scotland yesterday said it has driven up NatWest's share of new current accounts by a third to 15 per cent since it bought the bank earlier this year.

The news came as RBS sought to demonstrate to investors that the returns from NatWest's retail banking operations were proving to be much higher than expected. Since putting service advisers into NatWest branches, productivity has doubled, analysts were told.

RBS is now planning to offer the Virgin One mortgage offset account through both RBS and NatWest Branches in an attempt to fight off Halifax's Intelligent Finance, which is seeking to grab a major slice of the current account market with a similar concept. Virgin One, a joint venture with Sir Richard Branson, bundles current account, credit card and mortgage products into one.

Investors greeted the update positively, sending RBS shares up 23p to 1,408p. Analysts said RBS's management had made a significant impact on the NatWest business. But doubts lingered as to whether RBS would be able to protect rates in retail banking in an atmosphere of intense competition.

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