“Today’s Q3 2023 results show that NatWest is a strong bank which is performing well, generating sustainable profits and returns. This performance is built on the foundations of strong customer franchises and a robust balance sheet with high levels of liquidity and a well-diversified loan book. As a result, credit losses and impairments remain low and we are ready and able to stand by our customers and businesses through the current economic uncertainty.
Our leadership team has come together to ensure we all keep our eyes on the things that matter most – the 19 million people, families, and businesses we serve. Across the bank, we are resolutely focused on meeting their needs today, whilst getting ahead of what they will need from us tomorrow. This is at the core of what we do. It is how we will build long-term value in our bank and deliver sustainable growth.”
Strong Q3 2023 performance
Q3 2023 attributable profit of £866 million and a return on tangible equity (RoTE) of 14.7%. Attributable profit of £3,165 million for the year to date and a RoTE of 17.1%.
Total income excluding notable items(1), increased by £117 million, or 3.4%, compared with Q3 2022 principally reflecting the impact of volume growth and favourable yield curve movements. For the nine months ended 30 September 2023, total income excluding notable items, was £10,897 million, £1,602 million higher than prior year.
Bank net interest margin (NIM) of 2.94% was 19 basis points lower than Q2 2023 with the reduction largely due to changes in deposit mix as customers shifted balances from non-interest bearing current accounts to interest bearing savings accounts, particularly term, as well as the continued impact on mortgage margins as the higher margin Covid-era book rolls off and is replaced at lower margins. Bank NIM was 3.11% for the year to date.
Other operating expenses increased by £22 million, or 1.2%, compared with Q3 2022. For the nine months ended 30 September 2023, other operating expenses of £5.6 billion were £345 million, or 6.6%, higher than prior year. The cost:income ratio (excl. litigation and conduct) was 49.9% for the nine months ended 30 September 2023 compared with 55.6% for the same period in 2022.
The net impairment charge was £229 million in Q3 2023, or 24 basis points of gross customer loans, which reflects continued low and stable levels of stage 3 defaults across the portfolio and good book charges related to unsecured lending.
Robust balance sheet underpinning growth
Net loans to customers excluding central items increased by £1.8 billion to £354.5 billion during Q3 2023 including a £1.3 billion uplift in Commercial & Institutional as term loan facilities increased. Retail Banking gross new mortgage lending was £7.5 billion in the quarter compared with £7.6 billion in Q2 2023.
Up to 30 September 2023 we have provided £53.2 billion against our target to provide £100 billion climate and sustainable funding and financing between 1 July 2021 and the end of 2025.
Customer deposits excluding central items of £423.5 billion were £2.4 billion higher than Q2 2023. Term balances now account for 15% of our book, up from 11% at the end of the second quarter.
The loan:deposit ratio (LDR) (excl. repos and reverse repos) was 83%, in line with Q2 2023, with customer deposits exceeding net loans to customers by around £71 billion.
The liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) increased by 4 percentage points to 145% in the quarter, representing £49.6 billion headroom above 100% minimum requirement, primarily due to UBIDAC asset sales along with increased deposits offset by increased customer lending.
TNAV per share increased by 9 pence in Q3 2023 to 271 pence primarily reflecting the attributable profit for the period and movements in cash flow hedging reserves, offset by the impact of dividend payments.
Shareholder return supported by strong capital generation
Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) ratio of 13.5% was in line with the position at 30 June 2023 principally reflecting the attributable profit offset by the ordinary dividend accrual and increase in RWAs.
RWAs increased by £4.1 billion during the quarter to £181.6 billion principally reflecting increased market risk and lending growth in Commercial & Institutional partially offset by a £1.9 billion reduction as we continue our exit from the Republic of Ireland.
(1) Refer to the Non-IFRS financial measures appendix for details of notable items