Natwest Bank's insurance has been fined £500,000 by the Personal Investment Authority (PIA) for failing to comply with its rules on the sale of insurance and investment products.

It is the second-highest, non-pension related fine imposed by the regulator.

The disciplinary action followed a compliance visit by PIA staff to Natwest's offices in 1997, before it was taken over by its new owners Royal Bank of Scotland.

The PIA said it identified a series of shortcomings at Natwest but stressed none of the bank's customers had suffered any financial loss as a result of the rules breach.