Treasury to sell £1.1bn in NatWest shares, cutting taxpayer stake to 54.8% | NatWest Group

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The authorities has launched the merchantability of a £1.1bn involvement successful NatWest to chopped the British taxpayer’s holding successful the bank, which was bailed retired during the fiscal situation much than a decennary ago.

In the 2nd selldown this year, UK Government Investments (UKGI), which manages the shares connected behalf of the Treasury, said it would merchantability 580m shares, representing astir 5% of the bank’s stock.

Issuing a connection aft marketplace hours, UKGI said the government’s involvement successful NatWest, formerly known arsenic Royal Bank of Scotland, would beryllium reduced to astir 54.8% aft the completion of the disposal.

The coronavirus pandemic has driven authorities borrowing to grounds levels, aft the exchequer racked up a record £303bn peacetime fund deficit successful the fiscal twelvemonth ending successful March.

The authorities besides raised £1.1bn successful March erstwhile NatWest agreed to bargain 591m shares backmost from the authorities to accelerate reprivatisation, successful an off-market woody authorised by the chancellor, Rishi Sunak.

Details of the latest disposal emerged earlier the banal marketplace closed connected Monday successful a study by Sky News, earlier an authoritative connection was issued by UKGI. The shares fell astir 4% from 204.9p to extremity the time down astatine 197p.

The authorities bailed retired RBS astatine the tallness of the 2008 fiscal crisis, injecting £45bn to support the slope afloat successful bid to forestall an adjacent worse meltdown successful the banking strategy from taking hold.

Taxpayers are not expected to retrieve each of the wealth pumped into the bank, with the shares inactive worthy little than fractional the terms the authorities paid much than a decennary ago.

Although inactive acold beneath the 502p a stock terms the authorities paid successful 2008, NatWest shares person much than doubled from a debased of 90.5p successful September, fuelled by rising optimism implicit the UK system arsenic pandemic restrictions are relaxed.

The authorities has been gradually reducing its involvement successful the slope implicit caller years from a level of 79%, starting with a merchantability nether George Osborne successful 2015, erstwhile the erstwhile Conservative chancellor was forced to support losing £1bn connected the sale.

NatWest changed its sanction from RBS past year. The banking radical inactive retains the Royal Bank marque for its operations successful Scotland, alongside NatWest successful England and Ulster Bank successful Northern Ireland. It precocious reported a emergence successful first-quarter pre-tax profits to £946m, compared with £519m a twelvemonth earlier.

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