National Savings and Investments
|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (October 2012)|
|Non-ministerial government department and executive agency of the Chancellor of the Exchequer|
|Products||Savings and Investments|
National Savings and Investments (NS&I), formerly called the Post Office Savings Bank and National Savings, is a state-owned savings bank in the United Kingdom. It is both a non-ministerial government department and an executive agency of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Historically, the aim of NS&I has been to attract funds from individual savers in the UK for the purpose of funding the government’s public sector borrowing requirement (i.e., the funds in excess of taxation that the government requires to fund its expenditure). NS&I attracts savers through offering savings products with tax-free elements on some products, and a 100% guarantee from H.M. Treasury on all deposits. However, its interest rates are often low.
National Savings and Investments was founded by the Palmerston government in 1861 as the Post Office Savings Bank, the world's first postal savings system. The aim of the bank was to allow ordinary workers a facility "to provide for themselves against adversity and ill-health", and to provide the government with access to debt funding. As an example, savings certificates were issued in World Wars I and II to help finance the war effort. On June 1, 1957, the Premium Bonds draws were inaugurated, using E.R.N.I.E. – the Electronic Random Number Indicator Equipment machine (now located in the Science Museum).
In 1969, the bank was transferred from the Post Office to the Treasury. Its name was changed to National Savings Bank, and it gained an independent legal identity under the National Savings Bank Act 1971.
The name was changed again in 2002 to National Savings and Investments.
NS&I manages around £100 billion in savings, As funds from NS&I have historically been a relatively cheap source of government borrowing, the bank has set interest rates both to attract savers and provide low-cost finance for the government. 100% of savings are government guaranteed.
NS&I's head office is in Pimlico, London, with operational sites in Blackpool, Glasgow and Durham. However, its entire back office operation is contracted out to a French company, Atos IT Solutions and Services. Until July 2011, the contract was held by Siemens IT and Solutions. In the past, it offered many of its services through post offices, and was founded in 1861 as a postal savings system. In November 2011, it was announced that most products would only be available by telephone, online, or by post. Premium Bonds would be the only remaining product sold in post offices.
NS&I offers a wide range of savings and investment products, specialising in tax-free and income-generating products:
- Premium Bonds;
- Individual Savings Account (ISAs) (Direct ISA or Cash ISA);
- Inflation Index-Linked Savings Certificates;
- Fixed Interest Savings Certificates;
- Income Bonds;
- Guaranteed Growth Bonds;
- Guaranteed Equity Bonds;
- Children's Bonds;
- Direct Saver Account;
- Investment Account.
Premium Bonds celebrated their 50th anniversary in November 2006 when a special 5× £1m jackpot draw was announced. A second 5× £1m jackpot anniversary draw in June 2007 celebrated 50 years since the very first prize draw.
Products which are no longer on sale with NS&I include:
- Cash ISA;
- TESSA-only ISA;
- Fixed-Rate Savings Bonds;
- Pensioners' Bonds and Capital Bonds;
- Ordinary Account/Treasurer's Account/SAYE/Yearly Plan/Deposit Bonds;
- FIRST Option Bonds;
- National Savings Stamps and Gift Tokens;
- Easy Access Savings Account;
- Children's Bonus Bonds.
All savings and investment products are 100% backed by HM Treasury.
- "NS&I". GOV.UK. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
- "NS&I - Who we are". Nsandi.com. 24 April 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
- Story of NS&I National Savings & Imvestments, 2013. Retrieved 10 October 2013. Archived here.
- NS&I John David Lloyd, 2013. Retrieved 10 October 2013. Archived here.
- What we do National Savings & Imvestments, 2013. Retrieved 10 October 2013. Archived here.
- "NS&I Announces Latest Changes As Part Of Its Five Year Modernisation Programme" (PDF). NS&I. Retrieved 2012-10-16.
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