Chief Financial Officer, Katie Murray, commented

“NatWest Group’s strong performance for the first half of the year is underpinned by our robust balance sheet, with a high-quality deposit base, high levels of liquidity and a well-diversified loan book. 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 economic 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.”


Group Chief Executive Officer

On 25 July 2023, Alison Rose stepped down as Chief Executive Officer and as a Director of NatWest Group plc. Paul Thwaite was appointed as Chief Executive Officer and as a Director of NatWest Group plc for an initial period of 12 months, subject to regulatory approval.


Strong H1 2023 performance

  • H1 2023 attributable profit of £2,299 million and a return on tangible equity of 18.2%.
  • Total income, excluding notable items(1), increased by £1,485 million, or 25.2%, compared with H1 2022 principally reflecting the impact of lending growth and yield curve movements.
  • Bank net interest margin (NIM) of 3.20% in H1 2023 compared with 2.58% in H1 2022 with the increase reflecting favourable yield curve movements. Q2 2023 Bank NIM of 3.13% was 14 basis points lower than Q1 2023 principally reflecting asset margin pressure and changes in deposit mix from non-interest bearing to interest bearing balances.
  • Other operating expenses were £323 million, or 9.3%, higher than H1 2022. The cost:income ratio (excl. litigation and conduct) was 49.3% for the first half of the year compared with 56.0% in H1 2022.
  • A net impairment charge of £223 million in H1 2023, or 12 basis points of gross customer loans, principally reflects an increase in post model adjustments driven by increased economic uncertainty notwithstanding a £98 million modelled release. Defaults remain stable and at low levels across the portfolio.


Robust balance sheet underpinning growth

  • Net loans to customers excluding central items increased by £6.0 billion to £352.7 billion during H1 2023 primarily reflecting £5.9 billion of mortgage growth in Retail Banking.
  • Up to 30 June 2023 we have provided £48.6 billion against our target to provide £100 billion climate and sustainable funding and financing between 1 July 2021 and the end of 2025.
  • Customer deposit balances were stable in the second quarter following the outflows in the first quarter. Customer deposits excluding central items decreased by £11.8 billion to £421.1 billion during H1 2023.
  • The loan:deposit ratio (LDR) (excl. repos and reverse repos) was 83%, with customer deposits exceeding net loans to customers by around £71 billion.
  • The liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) of 141%, representing £45.3 billion headroom above 100% minimum requirement, increased by 2 percentage points compared with Q1 2023 primarily due to increased wholesale funding and UBIDAC asset sale offset by capital distributions.


Shareholder return supported by strong capital generation

  • We are pleased to announce an interim dividend of 5.5 pence per share and intend to commence an on-market buyback programme of up to £500 million in the second half of 2023 in addition to the £1.3 billion directed buyback completed in Q2 2023 bringing total distributions deducted from capital to £2.5 billion for H1 2023.
  • Common Equity Tier (CET1) ratio of 13.5% was 70 basis points lower than at 31 December 2022 principally reflecting distributions deducted from capital of c.140 basis points and an increase in RWAs, partially offset by the attributable profit.
  • RWAs increased by £1.4 billion during the first half of the year to £177.5 billion.


1) Refer to the Non-IFRS financial measures appendix for details of notable items – this can be found in our Results Centre.


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