NatWest now forms the core of the UK retail banking division of Royal Bank of Scotland. During the 1990s, the National Westminster Group set its heart on becoming an international investment bank to rival the American giants. It was the group's second attempt to become a global power, but ended in failure because NatWest's profits lagged far behind its ambitions. Then just as the bank thought it had put its troubles behind, an attempted merger with insurance giant Legal & General went horribly wrong. NatWest's share price plunged, allowing Scottish predators Bank of Scotland and RBS to mount rival takeover bids. The latter group won the day in 2000. NatWest ended up as the UK's second largest banking brand, but sacrificed its independence in the process. New parent Royal Bank of Scotland underwent a similar baptism of fire eight years later when its own attempt to conquer the global market also ended in disaster. See also
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