Government stake in NatWest dips below 30%

Nation edges closer to fully privatising bailed-out bank after financial crisis

Government stake in NatWest dips below 30%
Natwest NWG

The UK government's ownership of NatWest Group (LSE: NWG) has fallen under the 30% threshold for the first time since the lender's 2008 bailout during the financial meltdown. A stock exchange filing on Monday revealed the Treasury's stake now stands at 29.82%.

This reduction leaves the government with a holding valued at just shy of £7 billion in the bank formerly known as RBS Group. The state had gradually offloaded its position but accelerated share sales over recent months, whittling it down from 62% in 2018 to 45.9% at end-2022 and 37.98% by last year's close.

The multibillion-pound rescues at the crisis's peak had left the government with an 84% stake in the troubled bank. NatWest welcomed the sub-30% milestone, stating the government's "commitment to returning NatWest Group to private ownership" was "in the best interests of the bank and our shareholders."

The government aims to sell its remaining shares by 2025 or 2026 when achieving value for taxpayers. NatWest shares have rallied 19% year-to-date, gaining nearly 1% on Tuesday's session.

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