The possible impact on the insurance industry of either the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) or Bank of Scotland (BoS) taking over NatWest was still being considered by the City this week.

BoS has already made a hostile £26 billion bid for the troubled bank, with RBS poised to follow suit with a £27 billion bid of its own.

Job losses will follow whichever company eventually wins the battle for control.

NatWest, at number six in Insurance Times' top 50 brokers and intermediaries, distributes personal lines policies including motor, travel and household. These are underwritten by panels of insurers including RSA, Axa, Norwich Union and Zurich.

However, with both bidders operating substantial broking operations of their own, there could be room for synergy.

RBS's stronghold is risk management for medium and large-sized firms, but it also owns Direct Line and Privilege.

Similarly, as an intermediary, BoS distributes much of the same business as NatWest.

"It is probably too early to say what the effects would be," said analyst Barry Cornes from Charterhouse. "If NatWest had just one risk carrier, it would be easier to see.

"Whether RBS or BoS would seek to sell off the NatWest insurance operation, or whether its products would be subsumed is hard to say."
- CGU has struck a bancassurance deal with Royal Bank of Scotland to create and market life products for the bank's customers. There are no plans to market general insurance products at this time.