NatWest mortgage lending lifts 4.4% to £9.5bn  


NatWest posted a first-quarter pre-tax operating profit jump of 49% to £1.8bn on a year ago, including a rise in mortgage lending to £9.5bn.  

The high street bank says that gross new mortgage lending in the period was 4.4% higher than 12 months before — but was 17.4% lower than the previous quarter when it benefitted “from elevated application volumes received in September and October 2022”.  

Its profit was boosted by strong loan growth and higher deposit income from interest rate rises, which offset a fall in mortgage margins and lower deposit balances, which slumped by £19.8bn in the quarter.  

Its net interest margin – the difference between what it charges to lenders and what it pays to borrowers – was 7 basis points higher than the previous quarter at 3.27%.  

NatWest chief executive Alison Rose says: “NatWest Group’s strong performance in the first quarter of 2023 is underpinned by our robust balance sheet, our high levels of capital and liquidity and our well-diversified loan book.  

“As we continue to make progress against our strategic priorities, NatWest Group is well positioned to navigate this challenging operating environment and to deliver sustainable growth and returns by responding to new and emerging trends that are shaping the lives of our customers.”  

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