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NatWest slumps to loss on bad loan provision

Alison Rose

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Reuters

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Chief executive Alison Rose was appointed in 2019

Banking giant NatWest Group has put aside another £2.1bn in case more people and firms default on loans because of the pandemic.

That meant it reported a £770m loss for the first half of 2020. Last year it made a £2.7bn profit.

Earlier this month, chief executive Alison Rose warned of “tough times ahead” as Covid-19’s impact emerges.

The results are the first since the group changed its name from Royal Bank of Scotland Group just nine days ago.

It is thought that the rebrand was intended to help shift the lender’s image away from its association with the financial crisis.

The bank was rescued by the government in 2008 in the aftermath of the crisis at a cost of £45bn and it is still 62% state-owned.

“Our performance in the first half of the year has been significantly impacted by the challenges and uncertainty our economy continues to face as a result of Covid-19,” Ms Rose said.

“However, NatWest Group has a robust capital position, underpinned by a resilient, capital generative and well diversified business.

“Through our strong balance sheet and prudent approach to risk, we are well placed not only to withstand Covid-19 related impacts but also to provide the right support to those who will need it most in the tough times to come.”

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