As bank executives are ready to face shareholders for the first time since the major controversy over Nigel Farage’s Coutts accounts, NatWest has announced a significant increase in profits.
Pre-tax profits at the bank were £3.6 billion, up from £2.6 billion during the same time previous year.
The amount is also higher than the aim of £3.3 billion set by professional projections.
Additionally, NatWest announced a share buyback programme for the second half of the year that may total up to £500 million and an interim dividend of 5.5 pence per share.
The Government, which owns a 38% interest in the bank, will get £190 million from the interim dividend in September.
NatWest Group’s solid performance for the first half of the year is supported by our robust balance sheet, which includes a well-diversified loan book, resilient liquidity, and a stable deposit base, according to chief financial officer Katie Murray.
“As a result, we are able to continue lending to our customers and delivering sustainable returns and distributions to our shareholders, even in the current uncertain environment.
“Although arrears remain low, we know that people, families and businesses are anxious about their finances and many are really struggling.
“We are being proactive in our support for those who are hardest hit, helping to build the financial resilience of the customers and communities we serve.”
NatWest’s share price fell on Wednesday as chief executive Dame Alison Rose resigned for revealing Farage’s banking information to the BBC, despite good financial results for the first half of 2023.
The London Stock Exchange reported that yesterday’s closing prices were 239.9, down from 252.5 on Monday.