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The Flag Tells You Who's On Top

The Flag Tells You Who's On Top
For decades in the latter half of the 20th century, the English banking scene was dominated by the Big Four High Street Banks: Barclays, Lloyds, Midland and NatWest.

But banking is like a chess game and things can change sometimes rather unexpectedly. In 2000, in a shocking move, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) bought NatWest after NatWest made an ill-conceived move to buy insurer Legal & General plc. NatWest's offer to buy Legal & General casued NatWest share prices to tumble. In the end, not only did it fail to acquire L&G, but it fell prey to the "little" bank from Scotland.

This is the old NatWest building at No. 1 Princes Street. An RBS flag on top of the building shows you who's the boss now. Interestingly, RBS won NatWest in 2000 partly because it got some financial help from Spain's Banco Santander. In 2007, the duo once again partnered to buy out Holland's ABN AMRO.

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