NatWest ceases to be majority Government owned, following £1.2bn share sale

By John Reynolds on Monday 28 March 2022

Digital BankingSavings and Investment

The government has heralded cutting in its stake in the banking group from 50.6 per cent to 48.1 per cent as an “important landmark”.

NatWest ceases to be majority Government owned, following £1.2bn share sale
Image source: Alison Rose/NatWest.

NatWest is no longer under majority public ownership after the UK Government flogged off £1.2bn worth of shares in the banking group.

The Government has heralded cutting in its stake in the banking group from 50.6 per cent to 48.1 per cent as an “important landmark”.

NatWest purchased the 500m shares at 220.5p each, their closing price on Friday.

The move marks the first time the Government has held less than 50 per cent of the banking group since the financial crash.

NatWest, then known as the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, was rescued by the Treasury during the financial crisis between 2007 and 2008.

In 2008, the Government began building a stake in the banking group, which at its height reached 84 per cent in 2009.

Since 2015, the Treasury has been selling off its stake and the latest sell-off marks the government’s fifth sale of its NatWest shareholding.

NatWest CEO Alison Rose said the deal represented "good use of capital for the bank and our shareholders".

"Reducing government ownership below 50 per cent is an important milestone for NatWest Group and a further demonstration of the progress we are making as we continue to deliver for our customers and shareholders," she added.

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen said: "This sale means that the government is no longer the majority owner of NatWest Group and is therefore an important landmark in our plan to return the bank to the private sector.

“We will continue to prioritise delivering value for money for the taxpayer as we take forward this plan.

The Government has said previously it intends to sell £15bn worth of shares in the group by 2023.

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