Outlining their reasons to issue us this prestigious award, the industry publication said: “The UK bond market was beset by a series of challenges in 2023 which created a less than stable backdrop for issuance. For those on the outside, this represented a labyrinth seemingly impossible to navigate. But for those with the relevant expertise and experience, it was an opportunity to shine. NatWest is IFR’s Sterling Bond House of the Year.”

The IFR editors also highlighted that “despite high inflation, rates volatility and relatively weak economic growth prospects, NatWest continued its success throughout the year, leading the first Gilt syndication, three of the first four corporate deals and reopening trades for financial institutions both domestic and foreign following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Credit Suisse,” resulting in “hardly a week passing without a NatWest-led deal emerging.”

IFR impressed by NatWest’s role attracting inaugural corporate Sterling issuances

Looking at corporate Sterling Bonds, IFR noted NatWest’s “instrumental role in reopening the hybrid sector after a two-year hiatus with a sole structuring role on Vattenfall’s £250 million 60.25-year green deal and Vodafone’s £500 million 63.25-year transaction,” while also praising our support for several inaugural Sterling Bond transactions.

The editorial team further emphasised that in the utility sector - that accounted for a large amount of the supply - NatWest was behind 16 deals for customers in the gas, electricity, and the UK water sector.

Praise for NatWest’s “prowess” in the FI market

Considering NatWest’s performance in the Financial Institutions space, IFR praised our “prowess” in our home market, particularly when it came to the challenger banks. 

The sector endured what our head of FI syndicate Jacob Gilbert described as “a challenging year” as rates rose, but we were active on virtually every transaction; from covered bonds, through senior preferred and non-preferred (green and non-green) bonds to subordinated paper. As would be expected, the issuer roster included domestic players, but also from across Europe and as far afield as Canada and Australia.

NatWest emerging as the winner of the prestigious award was also helped by our transactions for public sector issuers in 2023.

The time to show your strength is when markets are tough

Alexandra Miani, NatWest’s Head of Western European Corporate, commented: “We’re thrilled and couldn’t be prouder to have won this coveted award, with IFR recognising our mentality to strive to be the best and lead the market. The time to show your strength is when markets are tough, and that is what we were able to do in 2023.”


Jamie Stuart, NatWest’s Head of UK Corporate DCM: "We are excited to see that our One Bank approach, which enables close collaboration between various teams involved in our Sterling transactions, is helping us deliver the best outcomes for our customers. We leverage a deep understanding of our home market to identify emerging trends and advise customers on the best way to efficiently access GBP liquidity.” 


Kerr Finlayson, NatWest’s Head of Frequent Borrowers Group Syndicate, added: “Winning IFR’s Sterling Bond House of the Year’ is a fantastic achievement. We are incredibly proud of our Sterling franchise and would like to thank all the issuers we have supported over the past 12 months.”

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