Natwest Markets Plc Government Ownership

To maintain financial stability at the height of the financial crisis, the UK government injected a total of £45.5 billion into the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) between October 2008 and December 2009. The UK Government became the majority shareholder of RBS in November 2008 taking a 58% stake in the ordinary shares alongside a tranche of preference shares. In April 2009 the preference shares were converted into ordinary shares. In December 2009 a further tranche of B shares acquired leading to a total economic ownership of 84.4%.

On the 4th August 2015 the Government began the process of selling shares back to the private sector, reducing its ownership of ordinary shares from 61.3% to 51.5% and its total economic ownership (including B shares) from 78.3% to 72.9%.

On 14th October 2015 the B shares were converted into Ordinary shares. 

On 5th June 2018 the Government made a second placing of 925m shares at 271p, reducing its ownership of ordinary shares from 70.1% to 62.4%.

On 19th March 2021 UKGI announced the successful completion of the disposal of part of HM Treasury’s shareholding in NatWest Group plc. The disposal was effected by way of an off-market purchase by the Company of 590,730,325 ordinary shares in the Company. The price paid by the Company for each Share was 190.50 pence. As a result of the Off-Market Purchase, the shareholding of HM Treasury has reduced from 7,509,483,519 Shares, representing approximately 61.7% of the ordinary share capital of the Company, to 6,918,753,194 Shares, representing approximately 59.8% of the ordinary share capital after share cancellation and excluding treasury shares.

On 11 May 2021 UKGI announced the disposal of 580,000,000 ordinary shares through an accelerated book building process to institutional investors. The placing was 190 pence per Placing Share with proceeds of £1.1bn. As a result of the Placing the shareholding of HMT reduced from 59.8% of the issued ordinary share capital to 54.8%.

On 22 July 2021 UKGI announced  that it intends to sell part of the HMT shareholding over 12 months from 12 August 2021 through a prearranged trading plan.  Under this trading plan it will have discretion to effect a measured and orderly sell down of shares in the company for up to, but no more than, 15% of the aggregate total trading volume.  At the time of the announcement, UKGI owned 54.7% of voting rights in NatWest Group.  

As a result of the directed buyback of NatWest Group plc shares by NatWest Group plc from UK Government Investments Limited (‘UKGI’) in March 2021, sales of NatWest Group plc shares by UKGI by accelerated bookbuild in May 2021 and purchases made under NatWest Group plc’s on-market buyback programme announced in July 2021, as at 11 February 2022, the UK Government held 50.94% of the issued share capital with voting rights of NatWest Group plc.

On 18 February 2022 NatWest Group announced a £750 million on-market buyback and on 28th March 2022 a further off-market purchase of c.550 million of our own shares from the UK Government at 220.5 pence per share – a total cost of around £1.2bn.  This took the UK Government’s ownership in NatWest Group below 50% for the first time since 2008.

UK Government share ownership:

 Dec ’08Dec ’10Dec ’12Dec ’14Dec ’16Dec ’20Apr ’22
UK Government58%68%65%62%71%62%48%

UK Government share sales

Share price immediately before the sale338p281p
Price at which shares were sold330p271p
Number of shares sold630m925m
Proceeds from the sale£2.1bn£2.5bn
HMT economic interest in RBS pre sale78.3%70.1%
HMT economic interest in RBS post sale72.9%62.4%