NatWest offer document, 1999

NatWest Group History 100 object 40: document outlining the Royal Bank of Scotland's bid to acquire NatWest, 1999.

This booklet is the offer document issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland to NatWest shareholders in December 1999, making the case for its proposed acquisition of their bank. It explains how the process would work, what it aimed to achieve, and asks for the shareholders' support. The case was successfully made. The bid from the Royal Bank of Scotland was accepted, and the acquisition was formally completed on 6 March 2000.

Of course, the completion of the deal was just the beginning of the hard work. The hundreds of members of staff who had been involved so far now handed over to thousands of colleagues in both banks who would be responsible for completing the unprecedented task of integrating the operations of two banks the size of NatWest and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

The process was completed in a number of stages

At the time, this was to be the biggest financial sector integration of its kind ever undertaken. While the two retail brands would continue to trade separately on the British high street, the back office systems needed to be coordinated and integrated. The Royal Bank of Scotland, which had historically been a much smaller bank than NatWest, would see its IT platform quadruple in size.

The process was completed in a number of stages. In July 2001, 12.4 million credit card customers moved over to the new platform. In October that year, all 3,334 NatWest ATMs were transferred. The new teller system rolled out to NatWest's 1,426 branches the following month. Staff throughout NatWest's retail branch network had to learn to use new systems, and to help them through this process, 550 experienced Royal Bank of Scotland cashiers were temporarily posted to key NatWest branches to help with queries and problems. Finally, the biggest single phase of the integration came on the weekend of 5-6 October 2002, when the core NatWest customer records were transferred onto the new platform.

When the integration was completed on 13 November 2002 it was the culmination of over 10,000 person-years of work. 4,200 members of staff, 22 billion records and 18 million customer accounts had been successfully integrated on the new platform.