LONDON — Britain’s government on Thursday announced a new plan to sell some NatWest shares over the next year as it looks to bring the state’s stake in the bank below 50%.

The finance ministry said it had instructed Morgan Stanley to sell NatWest shares on its behalf in a scheme starting on Aug. 12 and running until Aug. 11, 2022.

NatWest shares have rallied 23% since the start of the year, supported by the recovery from the pandemic, though they are still far below the 502 pence level the taxpayer paid to rescue the bank in the 2008 financial crisis.

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At 0749 GMT, NatWest shares were trading at 196.50 pence, down 1.5% from the previous day’s close.

The government said it planned to sell up to 15% of the total volume of NatWest shares being traded on the market over the duration of the plan.

Morgan Stanley will only sell shares at or above