The older ones amongst you will remember the government bailing out NatWest Group (formerly RBS) using taxpayers money back in 2008 to the tune of £46 billion. Yup, more than the government spanked on the COVID Test and Trace contract with Serco a couple of years ago. At least with NatWest we have something on the government balance sheet to show for it, in the Serco debacle, most of the money appears to have found its way into the pockets of people linked with The Conservative Party.
Well, in the 6 months to June, NatWest posted a profit of just under £3.6 billion. Not bad for half year, no?
What I don’t understand is that our government still owns a touch over 38% of the group and is selling off chunks of it, bringing its holding down from 84% at the very start. NatWest is currently valued at £25 billion, so the government’s (when I say ‘the governments’ I really mean ‘we are’; it’s our money) in a position of negative equity. Why keep flogging it off on the cheap and not just keep the 38% share of profits to reduce the income tax burden on us?
And another thing, why doesn’t the government use its clout in NatWest to start paying the savers some decent rates? The company is incredibly quick to put up its mortgage rates, but drags its heels to put savings rates up.
I completely despair with this lot currently in power and I hold out little hope that the next lot will be even close to fit for purpose either. One thing’s for certain, whichever of the two parties are in power, neither have the voting public interest at heart, with Labour only being slightly the lesser of the two evils.