Share of the Week: The Chancellor is set to receive a lot of attention as NatWest kicks off the banking reporting season

Jeremy Hunt will receive more attention than usual when Natwest kicks off the banking reporting season next week.

The Chancellor hopes to launch a “Tell Sid”-style campaign as soon as June to sell shares in the bank to the public, in an attempt to drum up some support for grassroots capitalism before the election.

However, a repeat of the enthusiasm surrounding Margaret Thatcher’s privatization program in the 1980s – including British Gas and British Telecom – seems highly unlikely.

NatWest – or Royal Bank of Scotland as it was formerly known – has been hopping from one crisis to another since it was bailed out £45bn by taxpayers during the financial crisis of 2007-09.

This saddled the government with an 84 percent stake in the bank, which has since been reduced to about 35 percent.

But stocks are still suffering, and mistakes like the Nigel Farage scandal haven’t helped break up the banks. So generating any enthusiasm among a jaded public to participate in a stock sale can be difficult.

A good set of numbers on Friday should help – as will the appointment of a permanent successor to Alison Rose, who lost her job as chief executive after the Farage debacle.

Analysts expect annual profits to rise to £6bn in 2023 from £5.1bn in 2022, although they are then expected to fall to £4.8bn this year.

Earnings are expected to rise to 16.8 pa. Anything better than this would actually be beneficial to Hunt.

(Signs for translation) Daily Mail

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