London, 27 October 2023 – Responding to NatWest’s announcement this morning that its pre-tax profits for the third quarter of 2023 were £1.3 billion, taking its profits for 2023 so far to £4.9 billion, Fran Boait, co-executive director of Positive Money said:
“Not only have soaring interest rates failed to address the root causes of inflation and plunged millions into financial hardship, they’ve also handed billions to the banks.
“There is no justice in allowing millions to go hungry and homeless whilst financial firms flourish, especially when interest rates can’t actually address the supply-side shocks driving most of the inflation we’re experiencing.
“If he’s serious about shielding those on the lowest incomes from destitution, the Chancellor must use the Autumn Statement to place a windfall tax on bank profits, and use the billions generated to protect the poorest among us from poverty.”
- NatWest’s Q3 profit announcement can be found here: https://investors.natwestgroup.com/results-centre.aspx
- 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-content/uploads/Bank-windfall-tax-briefing-2.pdf
- Positive Money is petitioning for this windfall to be taxed: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/tell-hunt-to-tax-the-banks/
- Calls for a windfall tax on banks have been echoed by MPs, including Angela Eagle, John McDonnell, Clive Lewis, Diane Abbott and Richard Burgon
- Polling commissioned by Positive Money found the majority of the public supports a windfall tax on banks: https://positivemoney.org/2023/09/uk-public-support-windfall-tax-on-banks-polling-shows/
- NatWest has cut 142 bank branches in 2023: https://www.which.co.uk/news/article/natwest-group-bank-branch-closures-in-2023-aXUN72y5QXYk
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