Continuing our work to dispose of the government’s shareholding
As set out at Budget 2023, the government intends to fully dispose of the NWG (formerly Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc) shareholding by 2025-26, subject to market conditions and any sale achieving value for money. Over the past year, the government has continued to make progress in this policy.
Following the successful launch of a Trading Plan in NWG shares in August 2021, in April 2023 the Trading Plan was extended to 11 August 2025.
A Trading Plan, otherwise known as a “dribble out”, involves selling shares in the market through an appointed broker in an orderly way at market prices over the duration of the plan. Shares will only be sold at a price that represents value for money for taxpayers. Since launch, the Trading Plan has delivered over £3.7bn for the taxpayer.
The Trading Plan does not preclude the government from using other options to execute future transactions that achieve value for money for taxpayers, including during the term of the Trading Plan, and FIG continue to actively seek opportunities for further disposal options when market conditions permit. For example, in May 2023, HMG successfully sold just under 5% of the company back to NatWest via a Directed Buyback, raising c. £1.26bn. As a result, as at 22 May the shareholding stood at 38.6%.
In parallel, FIG has continued to engage closely with the NWG Board and Executive team on stewardship issues throughout the year. Over the past 12 months, UKGI has constructively engaged with NWG in a shareholder role on topics such as purpose, values and culture; climate transition plans; remuneration; and technology and innovation, while continuing to manage the government’s shareholding at arm’s length and on a commercial basis.