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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.”


Tech launch for Jupiter

Jupiter Asset Management is to set up its first technology fund next month, aiming to target £500m of retail investment cash.The move follows the frenzy surrounding technology stocks sparked of in the last months of 1999.The fund will aim to invest in 100 companies that are either active or benefit from technology plus media and […]

West Brom prepares for armchair banking

West Bromwich Building Society has struck a deal for an undisclosed sum with cable television supplier Telewest which will allow customers to set up savings and mortgage accounts from their armchairs.The service will go live when Telewest&#39s Active Digital TV shopping channel is launched in March.The move follows similar entries into digital TV banking by […]

IFA investment e-trading boost

Giant IT consultant Cap Gemini is launching an electronic trading gateway to enable IFAs to trade unit trusts and Oeics free of charge.It believes Autif&#39s EMX electronic trading platform, which charges a fee for each transaction, will be used mostly by stockbrokers and institutional investors not by many IFAs. Cap Gemini insists it is not […]

Pension with-profit woes

Thousands of employers may be forced to abandon existing group personal pensions in favour of stakeholder if the Government excludes with-profit funds from its proposals.The life industry fears predictions of a GPP bonanza will prove unfounded as they are caught out by the fact the Government regards market value adjusters as an “exit penalty”.The Government&#39s […]


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