Outlook: Wanless close to landing his deal
Friday 03 September 1999
For choice, the City would have much preferred another straight banking consolidation, with its mouth-watering potential for cost cutting. But since the Government has made plain that's pretty much out of the question for the time being, it's going to have to make do with more bancassurance.
Mr Wanless has timed his move well. Sir Brian Pitman at Lloyds-TSB is too preoccupied with seeing that deal through his acquisition of Scottish Widows to want to spoil Mr Wanless's party. Meanwhile, Barclays is busy tacking up the bunting for the reception party of its colourful new chief executive, Matt Barrett. Mr Wanless is also going to be able to sell the deal as one done from a position of strength.
NatWest is a very different animal from the bruised and battered beast that nearly rushed into the arms of a more than willing Prudential. Had Mr Wanless done the deal that Sir Peter Davis was urging on him, or indeed agreed to merge with Abbey National - with which NatWest also talked seriously at that time - NatWest would have been seen as very much the junior partner.
It is a measure of how successfully Mr Wanless has turned around the bank's City standing that he is able to persuade someone of the calibre of David Prosser that NatWest can add something to a group as successful at what it does as L&G. It also shows how much the Lloyds deal with Widows has changed the dynamics of the marketplace.
Until recently, Mr Prosser was a staunch defender of the group's independence, despite some rumoured offers from the likes of Lloyds, Aegon, the Dutch insurer, and others. A consummate operator to the last, he is smart enough to detect which way the wind is blowing and act accordingly.
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
- 1 Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
- 2 Scottish independence: What you shouldn't tweet about if you want to avoid jail today
- 3 Scottish independence: Five reasons Salmond is secretly hoping for a 'No' vote
- 4 Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
- 5 Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
Scottish independence referendum live: Latest news as Scotland votes Yes or No
Scottish independence: Final opinion polls show undecided voters could swing result either way
Scottish independence: What you shouldn't tweet about if you want to avoid jail today
Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
Scottish independence: Andy Murray backs Yes campaign in eleventh hour decision
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
iJobs Money & Business
£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...
To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...
To £85,000 + banking benefits: Saxton Leigh: You will be expected to carry out...
Up to £90,000 + benefits: Saxton Leigh: Credit Risk Audit Manager required to ...