(Bloomberg) — NatWest Group Plc joined its rivals in painting a grim picture of the coronavirus-stricken U.K. economy, taking a further 2.1 billion-pound ($2.8 billion) charge to cover soured loans and prepare for a severe recession.
Britain’s biggest corporate lender set aside double what analysts expected, and said impairments would be between 3.5 billion pounds and 4.5 billion pounds this year. It’s also bracing for a downturn as steep as 16.9%.
“Our performance in the first half of the year has been significantly impacted by the challenges and uncertainty our economy continues to face as a result of Covid-19,” Alison Rose, boss of the bank formerly known as Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, said on Friday.
Barclays Plc and Lloyds Banking Group Plc took similar charges earlier this week. Together, the three lenders have now set aside more than 10 billion pounds to cover failing loans amid the pandemic.