BANKING: Pierced by a Blue Arrow

Pierced by a Blue Arrow

Britain's giant National Westminster P.L.C. likes to advertise itself as the "Action Bank." Last week the action made front-page headlines when four of the bank's top executives, including chairman Lord Boardman, resigned. The NatWest shake-up, unprecedented in British banking, followed a July 20 report by the Department of Trade and Industry that accused the institution's investment-bank subsidiary of having "deliberately misled" stock-market investors and broken British corporate laws. The report said the wrongdoing occurred when a $1.35 billion stock offering by an employment-services company called Blue Arrow flopped and NatWest ended up in possession of 13.4% of the company's shares, a...

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