Paul Thwaite confirmed as NatWest CEO amidst excellent financial results

Paul Thwaite confirmed as NatWest CEO amidst excellent financial results

Paul Thwaite

NatWest, operating as the Royal Bank of Scotland in Scotland, has confirmed the appointment of Paul Thwaite as permanent CEO as it reports its strongest financial results since the 2008 financial crisis.

The bank exceeded expectations by posting a pre-tax profit of £6.2 billion for 2023, marking a 20% increase from £5.1bn the previous year.

It proposes a final dividend of 11.5p per share and a share buyback of £300 million. The bonus pool, however, has decreased slightly from £367.5m in 2022 to £356m.

Despite a quarter-on-quarter dip in the net interest margin to 2.86% at the end of December, down from 2.94% in September, Mr Thwaite remains optimistic. He emphasised the strong balance sheet that enables support for customers and acknowledged the exceptional macro environment. Looking forward, he expressed ambition and confidence in the NatWest Group’s future, underscoring the opportunity to strengthen relationships with its 19 million customers.

Commenting on NatWest Group’s Full Year Results for 2023, group CEO Paul Thwaite said: “We have delivered a strong performance in an exceptional macro environment. Our operating profit was up 20% on the year before, with a return on tangible equity of 17.8% and £3.6bn of distributions to shareholders.

“The strength of our balance sheet allows us to support our customers and our performance is grounded in the services we have provided to help them reach their financial goals and manage their money better.

“As we look ahead, I am ambitious and confident for the future of NatWest Group. We should not underestimate the strength of our foundations or the opportunity to build deeper relationships with our 19 million customers. Our number one priority is to serve our customers well and provide them with the products, services, and expertise they need.

“This year we are focussed on the things we can control; delivering profitable growth, becoming more efficient, more productive, and simpler to deal with, whilst managing our cost and capital efficiently. Together, these actions will drive long-term, sustainable value for our customers, shareholders, and the wider UK economy.”

Mr Thwaite succeeds Dame Alison Rose following her controversial departure in the wake of the Nigel Farage controversy.

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