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NatWest's impairment charges drop by almost 50% 

NatWest’s impairment charges fell from £65m in Q4 of last year, to £34m in Q1 2021, quarterly results reveal.

The group’s impairment provisions also fell, dropping slightly to £5.6bn in the first quarter this year, from £6bn in Q4 2020.


Estimated credit losses (ECL)

ECL across total loans in the first quarter was £5.8bn, down from £6.2bn in Q4 2020.



Loans, £bn

ECL, £bn

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Alison Rose, chief executive officer of NatWest Group, said: “Defaults remain low as a result of the UK government support schemes and there are reasons for optimism with the vaccine programmes progressing at pace and restrictions being eased. However, there is continuing uncertainty for our economy and for many of our customers as a result of Covid-19.”


Net lending decreased by £1.8bn to £358.7 billion in comparison to Q4 2020. Across the UK and Royal Bank of Scotland International retail and commercial businesses, net lending excluding UK government support schemes, increased by £2.2bn, or 3.0% on an annualised basis, including £3.4bn related to mortgages. Retail banking gross new mortgage lending was £9.6bn in the quarter.


Payment holidays

The number of active payment holidays in Q1 2021 fell in comparison the Q4 2020. Payment holidays across both commercial banking and retail banking mortgages totalled £4.4bn, representing about three percent of the loan book. This was a fall of just over £2bn from the last quarter of 2020, where the total value of payment holidays was £6.5bn, which was about five percent of the loan book.



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