NatWest is reportedly examining a £3bn takeover proposal for UK wealth management powerhouse Tilney Smith & Williamson.
Sources told Sky News the bank – which was rescued by the government in 2008 – is among several bidders who will make a play as the high street lender is expected to go on sale within the next six weeks.
Tilney Smith & Williamson is owned by buyout firms Permira and Warbug Pincus and it manages more than £57bn.
Despite doubts over how the potential investment might fit with NatWest’s existing portfolio, the bank’s decision to even consider a bid is a sign of its comeback.
NatWest this week made the headlines when it managed to reduce the government’s stake to below 50 per cent since Westminster bailed it out with £45.5bn, the outlet reported.
The bank made around £3bn in profits last year and grew its market value to £23bn, less than half of what was used to rescue it.