As we expected, this is a relatively quiet week at NW. I have a meeting with Jim Mann, Mike Newens, and Bernard. Mike is now the NW "negotiator" who is facing off against Andersen as the discussions get into real commercial detail about "Redgrave", our proposed procurement outsourcing jv.
But he seems to be exceeding his brief by questioning some of the basic precepts of Redgrave; Bernard stays very patient (which is clearly one of his strengths) and explains the principles. Jim is very persuasive in his pro-Redgrave arguments, and puts some steel into Bernard and I, who are positive but are beginning to have more doubts. We agree to put together a strong pitch as a final attempt to persuade Richard.
Bank of Scotland put out an announcement that accuses NatWest of using "selective information" in terms of pointing out past failure of bank mergers. They claim that such consolidation can add value, and quote the examples of Lloyds and TSB, and the HSBC takeover of Midland.