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Feb. 19, 2021, 2:35 a.m. EST

NatWest operating pretax profit falls sharply

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By Sabela Ojea

NatWest Group PLC reported Friday a significant fall in operating pretax profit and a swing to a net loss for the fourth quarter of 2020, but both results were better than the market expected.

The U.K. bank posted an operating pretax profit of 64 million pounds ($89.4 million) compared with GBP1.55 billion for the fourth quarter of 2019. It had been expected to post an operating pretax loss of GBP1 million, according to the bank's compilation of forecasts.

The FTSE 100-listed lender also swung to a net loss of GBP109 million compared with a profit of GBP1.41 billion for the year-earlier period. It had been anticipated to swing to a loss of GBP90 million for the period, according to the bank's compilation of forecasts.

Total income fell to GBP2.54 billion from GBP4.23 billion for the same period a year earlier. Total income had been expected to reach GBP2.56 billion.

The bank's impairment losses for the period stood at GBP130 million, compared with forecasted impairment losses of GBP485 million for the period.

The board has declared a final dividend of 3 pence a share, unchanged from 2019.

Write to Sabela Ojea at sabela.ojea@wsj.com; @sabelaojeaguix

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