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Plan to return Natwest to private ownership extended by two years

  • 03/04/2023
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Plan to return Natwest to private ownership extended by two years
Natwest is expected to be fully privately owned by 2025 following a two-year extension to the government’s trading plan for the group.

Natwest Group, formerly the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, has seen £3.7bn raised in a trading plan which was established in August 2021. The plan was set up for the government to sell down its share in the group and was initially meant to be a 12-month programme. It was extended in July 2022, with a view to close in August this year. 

It involves selling shares in the market through an appointed broker over the duration of the plan and the extension announced today means the plan will now be in place until August 2025, provided there are no more extensions. 

Andrew Griffith, economic secretary to the Treasury, said: “We are determined to return Natwest to full private ownership. 

“Today’s extension marks another significant milestone in delivering this – ensuring we achieve best value for the taxpayer as we sell down the shareholding.” 

The Treasury and UK Government Investments, the entity overseeing the Treasury’s stake in Natwest, said it would continue to consider other disposal options for future sales. It added that the extension of the trading plan did not mean other options which would be value for money for the taxpayer would not be explored.  

The government currently holds a 42 per cent share in Natwest, down from 84 per cent at its peak. It will only dispose of its stake when it is value for money and market conditions allow. 

The government spent £46bn rescuing NatWest after it was caught up in the financial crisis of 2009. 

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