British bank NatWest has joined rivals in handing out an unscheduled pay boost to staff to help shield them from soaring price rises, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters on Thursday.

The state-backed lender has given 22,000 staff in lower paid jobs globally an average 1,000 pound ($1,200) raise.

In Britain the pay rise is being applied to staff earning a full-time equivalent salary of 32,000 pounds or less and equates to an average 4% pay increase, taking effect from September.

($1 = 0.8356 pounds) (Reporting by Sinead Cruise and Iain Withers; editing by John O'Donnell)