Joy of six for Royal Bank of Scotland

Despite record losses of around US$38 billion, the Royal Bank of Scotland has signed a new four-year deal with rugby union's Six Nations Championship worth nearly US$28 million. The bank has sponsored the tournament since 2003.

Despite record losses of around US$38 billion, the Royal Bank of Scotland has signed a new four-year deal with rugby union's Six Nations Championship worth nearly US$28 million.

The bank has sponsored the Six Nations Championship, which features England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France and Italy, since 2003, in which time the competition's television audience has increased by more than thirty per cent.

"The RBS Six Nations sponsorship has been selected to meet very specific business objectives within the six competing nations," said a spokesman for the bank, which claims the event generates more than half a billion dollars for the UK economy every year.

"We recognise the need to ensure that our sponsorship activity reflects the process of restructuring.

"We are trying our best to strike the appropriate balance within the constraints of both contractual obligations and, of course, maintaining the benefit of some key activities to our customer businesses."

The bank admitted that its range of sponsorships were under strict review, saying: "It is no surprise that we are reviewing what we do, given the current financial environment."