While colossal global banks like Citigroup seem to have cemented their control of the fixed-income markets, don't tell that to the increasingly ambitious Royal Bank of Scotland Group, which wants nothing less than a prime seat at the U.S. fixed income table.

RBS Greenwich Capital Markets, RBS's wholly-owned subsidiary, has vaulted in the asset-backed securities league tables so far this year, nabbing eighth place in the first-quarter U.S. ABS chart, up from 13th place in first-quarter 2002. Its underwriting volume is also up in U.S. mortgage-backed securities this year, although that market's full-speed-ahead issuance has boosted the fortunes of all underwriters. The heavy competition knocked RBS down to 11th from seventh place last year, even though it underwrote $11.1 billion compared with $10.9 billion.

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