Natwest Take More Control Of Their Future

May 31, 2024

NatWest has repurchased another significant portion of its shares from its largest shareholder, HM Treasury. The company announced this morning that it had acquired 392 million shares from the government, which constitutes 4.5 per cent of its share capital. NatWest paid 316.2p per share, totalling £1.24 billion for the transaction.

In addition to this buyback, it was also disclosed that the government had further reduced its stake through its regular trading plan. As a result of these transactions, the government’s ownership of NatWest has decreased to 22.5 per cent.

Paul Thwaite, NatWest’s chief executive, commented on the buyback: “This transaction is another crucial milestone for NatWest Group, continuing the recent trend of reducing HM Treasury’s stake in the bank. We see this as a positive use of capital for the bank and our shareholders, moving us closer to full private ownership. Our ongoing focus is on delivering for our customers, which will ultimately benefit our shareholders and the UK economy.”

Since the start of the year, the government has increased its efforts to reduce its stake in NatWest. Through its regular trading plan, the government’s stake has dropped from 37.98 per cent at the end of 2023 to 26.95 per cent by mid-May, before today’s announcements.

The government had initially aimed to fully exit its stake by 2025-2026, with plans to offer the remaining shares to retail investors. However, Rishi Sunak’s intention to call a snap election has complicated these plans. Despite this, the Treasury continues with the buyback and regular share sales as these were previously established policies.