Its rise to second place was propelled by news of its $10.5bn (£7m) acquisition of US bank Charter One, its biggest transaction since buying NatWest.
RBS believes the buy will give it a foothold for further acquisitions in the US, and the move fuelled speculation of an assault on the American retail banking market.
While Tesco retained its top position, rival Asda dropped from second to third.
The drop came despite an increase in market share to 16.6 per cent and its top ranking in a customer satisfaction survey (beating Tesco into second place).
Meanwhile, some commentators claimed that the collapse of Duo Airways – which topped the worst performers section for the second consecutive week – was evidence of a slow-down in the budget airline industry.
The collapse of Duo highlighted the lack of financial protection offered by budget airlines such as easyJet and Ryanair, adding to fears that the cheap-flights proposition might have entered its twilight days.
EasyJet came second from bottom following a 25 per cent slump in its shares.
The ranking is compiled from Thomson Intermedia’s National News Index, a measure of media sentiment that excludes stock market reports and passing mentions.