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Royal Bank warns of job losses

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Monday, 29 November, 1999, 09:53 GMT

Royal Bank of Scotland has warned that 18,000 jobs could be lost if it takes over National Westminister Bank.

This is 3,000 more redundancies than NatWest currently plans.

Chief executive George Mathewson said they did not envisage any branch closures at the two banks to arise directly from any merger.

RBS chief operating officer Fred Goodwin added:"Branch closures are a very expensive way of achieving cost efficiencies. Closing a bank branch can badly affect customers just when we want to retain them."

Royal Bank of Scotland announced a £26.4bn hostile bid for NatWest earlier on Monday. This trumps Friday's bid by Bank of Scotland.

The bid came as RBS announced record profits for the year to 30 September. Profits before tax jumped 21% from £1bn to £1.21bn.

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