Treasury disposes of NatWest shares worth more than £1.2 billion update

John Glen using a NatWest cash machine Credit: HM Treasury flickr

Treasury disposes of NatWest shares worth more than £1.2 billion reducing its shareholding to 48.1 per cent update.

So, for the first time since the financial crisis, NatWest Group plc (formerly Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc) is no longer under majority public as the bank agreed to buy back shares for £1,212,421,779.

This is the government’s fifth sale of its NatWest shareholding bringing its level of ownership down to less than 50 per cent and is considered a landmark in the government’s plan to return to private ownership the institutions brought into public ownership as a result of the 2007-2008 financial crisis.

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury John Glen MP authorised the sale of approximately 550 million shares in NatWest at 220.5p per share raising just over £1.2 billion.

Commenting on the sale, 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.”

At the height of the banking crisis in 2009, the Labour Government under Prime Minister Gordon Brown owned 84 per cent of the bank’s shares and with the share price rising during 2022, the current value of the shares still owned is in excess of £12 billion.

As it has returned to profit, NatWest has been paying dividends to shareholders and subject to approval its April AGM payment for 2021 should be in the region of 10.5p per share.

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