As well as surprising the City, the Bank of Scotland (BoS) appeared
to score a PR victory with its hostile bid for NatWest last week.
Its attack on NatWest’s shortcomings prompted widespread favourable
reporting of its own track record and management team strengths.
Positioned as the ’Bravehearts of banking’ (the Times, 25/9/99), BoS
with its audacious bid was credited with putting NatWest shareholders
’out of their misery’ and sparking a needed shake-up of the banking
It wasn’t all plain sailing, however. References to BoS’ bungled deal
with US TV evangelist Pat Robertson were never far away and caused some
commentators to question its political antenna, deemed ’non-existent’ by
the Guardian (25/9).
As other bidders prepared to enter the fray, some observers predicted
’BoS will soon be outgunned by bigger and nastier rivals’ (Sunday
Telegraph, 26/9/99). As the fight for NatWest gets underway, it seems
likely that BoS will be in the ring for some months to come.
Evaluation supplied by Echo Research. Cuttings supplied by the Broadcast
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