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NatWest independence hopes boosted

National Westminster Bank&#39s hopes of remaining independent have been boosted after a leading banking analyst urged it should resist hostile takeover bids by Royal Bank of Scotland and Bank of Scotland.


HSBC Securities research analyst Michael Lever argued both bids by the Scottish suitors involved an unacceptable degree of risk.


All three banks are preparing to present their cases to institutional shareholders whose decisions will determine the outcome of the battle on February 14.


Lever said: “The reasons we have supported NatWest is very simple- the two Scottish banks are basically buying NatWest blind on the basis of promises which are not credible, even for an in-market merger.”

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