Treasury extends NatWest disposal plan amid global banking turmoil
The UK government will now have until August 11, 2025 to complete its “trading plan”, which involves disposing of up to 15 per cent of NatWest’s total shares to other investors. The Treasury and UK Government Investments, which manages the shares on behalf of the taxpayer, said they will not sell shares at an unfair price. The Treasury has been slowly selling off the majority stake that it took in NatWest Group - then named Royal Bank of Scotland Group - during the 2008 financial crisis. But it has been far from able to recoup the money that it put in to save the struggling bank during the crisis.
The government bought its stake for 502 pence per share. Before markets opened on Monday shares in NatWest were worth around 263p. So far the government’s trading plan has netted the Treasury around £3.7 billion by selling off the shares. It has also sold off shares through other means but still owns around 41.5 per cent of the bank.
Victoria Scholar, head of investment at investment platform Interactive Investor, said: “The recent banking sector turmoil has sent shares in NatWest down by more than 10 per cent over the past month. This complicates the picture for the government which is trying to offload its stake at a time when investors are feeling nervous towards the sector. If the banking sector crisis fades over the coming weeks, we could see opportunistic buyers return to the market.”
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