The UK government would seek to sell it, to ensure those billions go anywhere else.
It has been a rocky rode back to security under first Ross McEwan and now the excellent Alison Rose.
Today she unveiled dividends worth £2 billion, half of which goes to the Treasury for its 48% stake. Economic conditions allowing, there should be much more of where that came from in the coming years.
The government still plans to offload its stake, a stance that is based on political ideology and owes nothing to common sense.
If it just sat tight it could get back many billions more from the bank than it ever had to pay. Instead it will sell those shares to hungry investors in the City who know free money when they see it.
Tory governments don’t think they should have stakes, certainly not controlling stakes, in large companies as a matter of principle. Labour, because it is cowardly, tends to go along with this.
But in the Covid era the government has had to make all sorts of massive interventions in the economy just to keep us afloat.
What’s one more small compromise – keeping the NatWest stake -- compared to say, the furlough scheme?
Selling that NatWest goldmine would be just plain thick. So we can assume that is exactly what will happen.