LONDON: The British government is extending a trading plan to help sell down the taxpayer’s stake in NatWest Group by another two years, as it chips away at the state’s remaining 41.5% ownership of the bank.

A series of share sales returned the bank - which was bailed out at the height of the 2007-09 global financial crisis - to majority private ownership last year.

The trading plan involves drip-feeding further sales and is one of the government’s main methods of reducing its stake, alongside sales of bigger chunks to private investors or directly to NatWest.

The government said it would continue to review other options for cutting its stake, but only when they “achieve value for money for taxpayers”.

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Britain’s finance ministry said on Monday that the trading plan had been extended to Aug. 11, 2025 and would continue to be run by investment bank Morgan Stanley.

The NatWest trading plan has been extended for a second time, after originally being launched in 2021.

The government reaffirmed its commitment to fully privatising NatWest by 2026 in its budget last month.

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