Royal Bank hold their shareholders’ meeting this morning to approve the deal. This is the very last chance we have of some incredible last-minute escape. We aren't holding our breath, and it is no surprise when news comes through that approval was given. It has been hard to identify at exactly which point we "lost" - was it when the major investors moved against us, or when we recommended the bid, or on the 14th when RBS got the majority of acceptances? But the meeting today finally closes the door, so I suppose this is as good a day as any to record formally the end of NatWest as an independent entity.
However, for reasons I don't fully understand, the takeover will not be completed until March 6th. There are various rumours around as to why this is the case; the deal still requires regulatory approval (which I believe is true); RBS haven't got the funding in place for the cash element of the deal; or a giant sloth has just eaten all their key legal documents and they are having to re-create them from magic porridge. I think the last was a post-Smithies lunch rumour.