If Royal Bank of Scotland wins the bidding battle to acquire London-based National Westminster Bank PLC, the U.S. banking community is likely to face a more daunting competitor than if Bank of Scotland wins the prize or if Natwest remains independent.

Unlike the others, Royal Bank has displayed keen interest in the U.S. retail market and already owns Citizens Financial Group, a $23 billion-asset banking company based in Providence, R.I.

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