NatWest pre-tax profits jump 40% to £1.2bn

NatWest has reported a 40 per cent rise in pre-tax profits for the first quarter of 2022.

The banking group, which formerly operated as Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), saw pre-tax profits jump to £1.2 billion, up from £885 million for the first three months of 2021, beating analyst expectations.

NatWest’s performance was bolstered by higher interest rates and rising mortgage borrowing as well as a return to growth and consumer spending following the pandemic.

However, NatWest chief executive Alison Rose warned of future “challenges and concerns” related to the war in Ukraine and the cost of living crisis. The bank said it has referred 2,100 customers through its partnership with Citizens Advice to help wit complex advice needs.

The results are also the first to be posted since the government’s stake in NatWest fell below 50 per cent in March- the first time since the financial crisis- following a £1.2 billion share sale.

The bank also saw a return on tangible equity of 11.3 per cent while bank net interest margin (NIM) was at .46 per cent, 15 basis points higher than the last quarter of 2021, which NatWest said principally reflected the impact of recent base rate rises.

Other operating expenses in the Go-forward group were £78 million or 4.6 per cent lower than the first quarter of 2021.

Chief executive, Alison Rose, said:“The world has changed considerably during the last three months. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the invasion of Ukraine and we are doing all that we can to support them.

She added: "We are also very aware of the challenges and concerns the cost-of-living crisis is causing for many of our customers up and down the country. NatWest Group is focused on providing practical help and support for the people, families and businesses we serve.

“Despite the challenging environment, I am pleased with our performance as we continue to execute well against our strategy, driving sustainable growth and returns. Income and profits are substantially up, costs are down and we remain well capitalised as we build long-term value and deliver a simpler and better banking experience for our customers.”

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