BUSINESS LIVE: NatWest profits triple; 500k UK firms in ‘financial distress’

BUSINESS LIVE: NatWest profits triple in third quarter; Amazon and Apple sales soar; Half a million British businesses in ‘financial distress’

NatWest profits tripled in the third quarter of 2021, despite the bank setting aside cash to pay a fine for money laundering failings.

The state-backed lender reported a pre-tax profit for the July-September period of £1.1billion, better than the £677million average of analyst forecasts and up from £355million a year ago.

Amazon and Apple raked in £142billion in three months as the online shopping boom and a new iPhone sent sales soaring.

They smashed their own quarterly records – capping off a bumper week for US tech firms that has also seen Microsoft, Alphabet and Facebook spiral to new highs.

More than half a million British businesses were in ‘significant financial stress’ in the third quarter of 2021, research from Begbies Traynor reveals.

It comes with a 139 per cent rise in county court judgements during the quarter as businesses resort to using the courts to recover debts, while there was a 17 per cent rise in ‘more serious critical business distress’.

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Natwest saw pre-tax profits of £1.1bn in the three months to the end of September, beating analyst expectations of £677m.