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Awards for excellence - UK

Best bank

Royal Bank of Scotland

Best debt house

Barclays Capital

Best equity house

UBS Warburg

Best M&A house

Citigroup/Schroder Salomon Smith Barney

When Royal Bank of Scotland succeeded in its audacious takeover bid for the larger NatWest last March, one fund manager told Euromoney that the UK's best-managed large bank had just bought the worst. Investors, analysts and customers sat back and waited to see how ruthless the new bosses would be in trying to turn around an underperforming franchise. Pretty ruthless, seems to be the answer. While the incoming bosses of Royal Bank of Scotland have at least acknowledged that the old NatWest had some under-appreciated strengths on the wholesale side, notably its treasury operation, elsewhere the bank has been cutting costs while growing revenues in a display of professional leadership that has analysts recalling the great strides forward Lloyds TSB made in the mid-1990s.

It is ahead of its targets for integrating NatWest.

The group now has 15 million UK customers and a leadership position in corporate banking and especially with small and medium-size enterprises where its market share has been large enough to draw attention from a competition commission investigation.

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