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How to Buy NatWest Shares UK

NatWest Group Plc has over 7,500,000 personal banking clients and 850,000 small business clients. That’s what makes it one of the UK’s leading retail and commercial banking stocks.

Discover how to buy NatWest Group shares in the UK—as a short-term trade or a long-term investment—in my detailed guide.

Also consider: My best stocks and shares to buy now

NatWest logo

How to buy shares in NatWest (NWG)

  1. Select a trading platform that works for you. If you’re new to trading stocks and funds, it can be difficult to know which way to turn. That’s why I’ve put together a guide to the top UK-regulated trading platforms, giving you the pros and cons of each broker in black and white.
  2. Open your trading account. To formalise your new trading account, your chosen broker will need several bits of personal information to verify that it’s you. This includes a government-issued ID, proof of address, and your national insurance number. Combined, these allow brokers to meet their Know Your Customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) compliance obligations.
  3. Pick your preferred payment method. Once your trading account is validated and live, you can select a suitable payment method to fund your account. Typical deposit options include bank wire transfers and debit cards.
  4. Search for the stock code on your trading platform. Search for “NWG” in the search bar of your chosen trading software to bring up its page, displaying its current share price.
  5. Research NatWest shares information. Dedicate some time to understanding NatWest Group and the wider UK banking sector. Your trading platform should offer tools to help you conduct technical and fundamental analysis.
  6. Now buy your NatWest shares. Once you’re ready to invest, place your order for NatWest shares in the market.

NatWest (NWG) share price

Below you can see NatWest share price live, subject to stock exchange times and data update frequency.

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6 Simple Steps to Buying NatWest (NWG) shares

There are six steps you need to follow if you want to buy or sell NatWest shares. Each step is as important as the next, so make sure you take note of what to do at each stage of your journey with this company.

1. Choose your preferred trading platform

Before you sit down and decide whether the time is right to invest in NatWest Group Plc, you’ll need a trading platform to help you execute your trades. The best trading platforms make it possible for retail investors and traders like you to participate in the stock exchange and provide liquidity for the financial markets.

The UK’s financial services industry is well regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Any authorised trading platform in the UK must comply with stringent conditions that protect the best interests of clients as well as the integrity of the financial markets.

I’ve reviewed more than 116 trading platforms through the years, benchmarking each platform’s features, investment options, trading tools, fees, and much more. If you’re struggling to know which way to turn, I highly recommend reading my guide to the top trading platforms in the UK right now. Within this article, I explain what I like about each broker, as well as any cons, to give you both sides of the coin.

2. Open your trading account

You’ll also need to decide what type of trading account you wish to open. If you’re planning on investing in NatWest shares as a long-term investment, it might be wise to consider a general investment account (GIA). GIAs make it possible to invest with no limitations as to how much in each tax year.

That’s unlike stocks and shares ISAs, which have an ‘annual allowance’ for tax-free investments. This currently stands at £20,000 per tax year, so if you plan to invest more than this, I’d highly recommend a GIA. Investing with a GIA is by no means the golden ticket, though. Any profits you accrue within a GIA will be subject to capital gains tax.

It might be prudent to start with a stocks and shares ISA and invest the maximum tax-free amount before opening an additional GIA.

If you believe there’s an opportunity to make a short-to-medium-term return on NatWest shares or you plan to frequently trade the price volatility on the NatWest Group Plc share price, a share dealing account or broker is more likely to suit you.

Share dealing or trading differs from long-term investments in that there’s no intention to hold onto assets and watch them mature for many years. Instead, share dealing and trading are about taking small but frequent returns from the markets, akin to day trading.

When it comes to hand-picking a suitable share dealing account, you’ll need to find one that offers the most competitive platform and trading fees.

Platform fees are charged yearly, quarterly, or monthly as a percentage of your investment pot for using the broker’s software. Trading fees are charged as a flat fee or percentage of every trade you place. Naturally, the lower these fees are, the better it is for your bottom line.

3. Choose a broker that accepts your ideal deposit/withdrawal method

One of the most important aspects of picking a trading brokerage is ensuring they support your preferred payment method(s). For instance, if you want to deposit funds using a mobile wallet like Google Pay or Apple Pay, make sure they accept these methods.

The most common payment methods supported by trading brokers are debit cards and bank wire transfers. The latter is the most secure method of transferring funds, but it’s rarely the quickest.

What I would say is that you’ll struggle to find a trading broker that supports credit card deposits these days, and rightly so. Trading the financial markets on borrowed money is the last thing anyone should be doing. Financial investing is a high-risk endeavour with no guarantees of a return. It should only be done with money you can afford to lose.

4. Locate NatWest shares within your trading platform

Once you’ve verified your identity and address, your trading account is good to go. You can then begin your search for potential equities to invest in, like NatWest. The fastest way to find NatWest stock is to search using the firm’s ticker. This is also known as its Exchange Price Information Code (EPIC). NatWest Group’s EPIC is NWG.

Use NatWest’s EPIC and type ‘NWG’ into the search bar of your chosen trading platform. This should display the relevant page showcasing the real-time NatWest share price and its recent price movements.

5. Stay up to date with NatWest’s latest developments

In an ideal world, your chosen trading platform will equip you with trading tools and resources to keep tabs on your current and target investments. Some brokers may offer dozens of indicators that allow you to carry out technical analysis on the past performance of NatWest Group and other publicly listed companies to find price points of support and resistance—ideal for scalping and swing trading.

If you’re a newbie investor, choose a trading broker that offers an in-depth FAQ section and glossary of terms. This will help you learn the ropes at your own pace. eToro provides an ‘Academy’ for its clients, with news and analysis on topical stocks and shares. Other brokers will also provide real-time access to news feeds to help you conduct fundamental analysis on target stocks, like NatWest.

It’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the various subsidiaries of NatWest Group Plc. These include NatWest and NatWest Markets. NatWest Markets focuses on investment banking, while the former focuses on domestic clients. NatWest Group also includes Royal Bank of Scotland, RBS International, and Ulster Bank.

6. Place your market order for NatWest shares

Once you’re comfortable that you know the upside potential and the downside risks to the NatWest share price, it’s time to submit a market order. By this point, you’ll already know where to find the NatWest share price page on your trading platform .

To arrange your first market order on NatWest shares, visit its share price page, enter the number of shares you wish to buy, and your broker will place the order at the next available price. You may also be offered the option of placing a limit order, which allows you to select a price at which you’re prepared to buy NatWest shares.

Most trading platforms will also allow you to define stop-loss and take-profit orders, which are essential to risk management and preserving your trading bank for the long haul.

How much does it cost to buy NatWest shares?

A volatile share

The price of NatWest Group Plc shares has been somewhat volatile in the last five years. It fell from 312.53 (GBX) in May 2018 to 207.68 (GBX) in March 2022. This was largely attributed to the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic—one of the major events of our generation—and the economic aftershocks for NatWest, spanning bad loans, diminished mortgage approvals, and much more.

Signs of recovery

There has been a steady recovery in the NatWest share price since March 2022. In February 2023, it reached highs of 309.90 (GBX), threatening to return to its pre-pandemic levels before settling in a price range of 260.00–275.00 (GBX) in May 2023. [1]

The buoyancy in the NatWest share price in early 2023 was due largely to its somewhat bullish Q1 2023 trading update, which saw earnings come in above the expectations of market analysts. This was largely powered by a rise in the bank’s net interest margin, which increased from 2.45% to 3.27% due largely to recent interest rate hikes by the Bank of England.

Interest rates and their impact

With interest rates seemingly set to rise further before their peak based on stubborn core price inflation, investors have become bullish on the possibility of that net interest margin widening further to improve its total income.

However, there are multiple risks to the downside of the NatWest share price too. Higher-than-expected interest rates could spark a glut of unwanted defaults, with the bank having to dedicate greater provisions to deal with impairments. All of that could eat into NatWest’s bottom line.

The housing market

Soaring interest rates also amplify affordability issues for homeowners and their eligibility criteria for mortgages. Although mortgage approvals have ticked up, they are still well below previous highs. NatWest Group Plc is the UK’s second-biggest mortgage lender, so a stagnation in the mortgage market and a potential house price crash would be bad news for the bank’s top line.

Does NatWest pay dividends?

Yes, NatWest Group is one of the leading UK high-street banks for regular shareholder dividends. Its current dividend yield sits at around 5.8% and is predicted to break the 6% mark by the end of 2023. Forecasts for NatWest’s dividend yield in 2025 are for it to reach 8.1%, which is almost as high as its pre-pandemic yields posted in 2019.

A company’s dividend yield is determined by dividing its annual dividend by the prevailing share price.

In early 2023, NatWest Group paid shareholders a dividend of 10 pence per share, higher than the 8 pence per share that was previously predicted by City analysts.

One-off payments

In September 2022, NatWest also paid a ‘special’ dividend to shareholders of 16.8 p per share on top of the interim dividend of 3.5 p per share that was paid out at the same time. This brought NatWest’s full dividend yield for its 2022–23 fiscal year to 30.3 p per share. It’s only natural that NatWest invest some of its profits to improve its day-to-day operations and reward its shareholders’ loyalty.

A break from dividends

Dividend payments have not always been consistent with NatWest, though. For several years after the global financial crash, NatWest didn’t pay a penny in dividends to its shareholders. It wasn’t until October 2018 that shareholders would receive a payout of 2 pence per share.

Dividends were also paused by the bank at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused unprecedented uncertainty for banks and the wider economy.

What’s the best way to buy or invest in NatWest shares?

You’ll be pleased to know there are multiple options at your fingertips to get exposure to the NatWest share price. Ultimately, you’ll need to decide whether you want to invest or trade in NatWest shares.

Short-term options

If you’re thinking of trading the price volatility of NatWest shares as a retail day trader, it’s probably a good idea to trade the NatWest share price in one of two ways:

Using a CFD broker or spread betting platform

Retail traders typically look to speculate on the price movement of equities, like NatWest Group. They’re not interested in physically owning these stocks. That’s why retail traders tend to gravitate toward contract for difference (CFD) brokers and spread betting platforms.

With CFD trading, you can speculate on the price of equities rising or falling without having to own the underlying assets. This gives you the flexibility to go long (buy) or short (sell) on NatWest shares if you believe they will rise or fall.

Note: CFD trading and spread betting fall into my high-risk category of investment opportunities. With leverage allowing you to maximise your exposure to assets like NatWest Group, the total value of profits (and losses) can be magnified in an instant. I urge you to read up on risk management strategies before even considering dabbling with CFDs.

Using a share dealing account

Share dealing is another short-term form of trading for retail investors. As with CFDs, you’ll use a broker to buy and sell assets like NatWest at high frequency, capitalising on small but frequent price moves in the markets.

The aim of the game with share dealing accounts is finding a broker that offers an ultra-competitive platform and trading fees, which can eat into your returns if they are too high.

Longer-term options

If you plan to take a longer-term view of potential investments in NatWest shares, I’d recommend one of the two following avenues:

Diversify your investment risk by buying into indices and funds including NatWest

Risk-averse investors may decide not to get direct exposure to NatWest shares and instead favour a diversified portfolio of assets that includes NatWest stocks. NatWest’s primary listing is on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index, which contains the UK’s 100 most valuable corporations, weighted by market capitalisation.

NatWest is also listed within the FTSE All-Share, FTSE 350, and FTSE 350 High Yield indices. NatWest Group is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, which covers the firm’s international banking arm.

Several exchange-traded funds (ETFs) include NatWest as part of their investment mix. The First Trust UK AlphaDEX UCITS ETF, the SPDR MSCI Europe Financials UCITS ETF, and the PowerShares FTSE RAFI UK 100 UCITS ETF are three ETFs with some of the highest allocations of NatWest shares in their respective funds.

Invest for the long term using a tax wrapper account

Stocks and Shares ISAs and self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs) are two of the most tax-efficient ways to start investing in stocks like NatWest. You can invest in NatWest shares through either of these ‘tax wrapper’ accounts and avoid paying capital gains tax or dividend tax on any returns generated.

Stocks and Shares ISAs tend to be more useful for short-to-medium-term savings goals. Meanwhile, SIPPs are a more useful long-term tax wrapper account, as they can’t usually be accessed until the age of 55 (57 in 2028).

How to buy NatWest shares FAQs

Can I buy shares at NatWest Bank?

You can buy shares at NatWest Bank through a UK-regulated broker online. NatWest Group ordinary shares are publicly listed on the London Stock Exchange and available to buy Monday through Friday.

Which bank owns NatWest?

The bank that owns NatWest is known as NatWest Group Plc, formerly the Royal Bank of Scotland Group. The UK government also holds a 38.6% stake in the bank after bailing it out in 2008.

Please note

The value of your investments (and any income from them) can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Investments should be considered over the longer term and should fit in with your overall attitude to risk and financial circumstances.

A pension is a long-term investment not normally accessible until 55 (57 from April 2028). The fund value may fluctuate and can go down, which would have an impact on the level of pension benefits available. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results. The tax implications of pension withdrawals will be based on your individual circumstances. Thresholds, percentage rates and tax legislation may change in subsequent Finance Acts. 

[1] Google Finance

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