NatWest unveils highest yearly profit for 26 years

Paul Thwaite is the bank’s new boss replacing Alison Rose who resigned after a row over Nigel Farage’s account.
NatWest unveils highest yearly profit for 26 years
Customer using NatWest ATMGetty Images

NatWest Group has revealed its highest yearly profit since just before the financial crisis in 2007.

The banking group reported a pre-tax profit of £6.2bn over 2023, higher than expected.

It also named Paul Thwaite as its permanent boss. He replaces Dame Alison Rose who resigned last year after admitting discussing the closure of Nigel Farage’s bank account.

The board said he was the “right person” to shape the group’s future.

It comes as the group is gearing up for a potential sale of shares to the general public, perhaps even as early as June.

The government still owns 35% of the bank since it bailed it out to the tune of £46bn during the financial crisis.

But UK Government Investments (UKGI), the company responsible for government investments, has been exploring a share sale since the chancellor announced plans in 2023.

Since NatWest, previously known as Royal Bank of Scotland, was bailed out in 2008, the government has been gradually reducing its shareholding in the bank. Shares have so far been sold to institutional investors and back to NatWest itself.

On Friday, the group said that its pre-tax profits for 2023 were up 20% on the year before and it announced a share buyback of £300m.

While higher interest rates have lifted revenues, it also warned that a tough economic picture could impact its future earnings.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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