London, 28 July 2023 – Responding to NatWest’s announcement this morning that its pre-tax profits for the first half of 2023 were £3.589 billion, up from £2.62 billion for the same period last year, Fran Boait, co-executive director of Positive Money said:
“What a blow to taxpayers that the year NatWest returns to profit is the same year the government sold our majority stake in the bank for a huge loss on what we paid for it.
“And these aren’t profits made from any great initiative of the bank’s, but from the suffering of the public; the same public that bailed them out fifteen years ago.
“We can’t rely on private banks to pass higher interest rates on to savers, but we should be able to rely on our government to tax the unearned profits banks are making from them, and return those funds to the public services we all depend on.”
Higher interest rates mean that the Bank of England is expected to pay an estimated £75bn of interest on banks’ risk free reserves over 2023 and 2024, with a total of around £150bn due to be paid out between 2022 and 2028. For more information see: http://positivemoney.org/wp-
Positive Money has called for this windfall to be taxed: https://actionnetwork.org/
NatWest’s Q2 profit announcement can be found here: https://investors.
Positive Money campaigns for a money and banking system which supports a fair, democratic and sustainable economy. Set up in the aftermath of the financial crisis, Positive Money is a not-for-profit company funded by charitable trusts and foundations, as well as small donations from its network of over 65,000 supporters. www.positivemoney.org