The sale, announced on Monday, will reduce the government’s stake in the bank to 38.6%, down from 41.4%. Approximately 469 million shares with a nominal value of £1.07 will be sold back to NatWest at 268.4p each.

Upon settlement, NatWest will continue to hold 217.55 million of its ordinary shares with the Treasury.

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Andrew Griffith said: “Today’s sale is another major milestone in returning NatWest to full private ownership as promised. The government has now sold well over half of its shareholding.

NatWest returned to majority private ownership in 2022. In April this year, the government delayed selling its remaining stake in the bank, saying it would instead consider selling bigger chunks to private investors or directly to NatWest when they “achieve value for money for taxpayers.”

However, the UK government remains the bank’s biggest shareholder 15 years after the bank was rescued.

Britain’s decision to continue downscaling its ownership in the bank comes following a profitable Q1 2023. NatWest stated pre-tax profits rose by 50% year-on-year to £1.8bn, with profits after tax ahead by 48% year-on-year to £1.34bn.