NS&I ANNOUNCES LATEST CHANGES AS PART OF ITS FIVE YEAR MODERNISATION PROGRAMME
3 November 2011
Changes reflect growing numbers of customers managing their NS&I savings by post, phone and online, in line with market trends
NS&I today announced the latest stage in its programme to simplify and modernise its savings range, and to grow the number of customers transacting with it directly by post, phone and online. At the end of the final phase, in 2013, NS&I’s range of savings and investments will only be available direct from NS&I, apart from Premium Bonds which we intend to continue to offer through the Post Office.
Over the next year NS&I’s Investment Account will become a postal only savings account with statements replacing the current passbook, and offering an improved interest rate. NS&I’s Easy Access Savings Account will close to all customers – instead customers will be offered the NS&I Direct Saver account (which offers savers easy access to their money online and by phone, and a much higher rate of interest), or the postal Investment Account.
The key changes in 2011-2012 are:
New applications for NS&I’s Investment Account will cease from 28 November 2011. The account will become a postal only account in May 2012. NS&I will notify customers of any impact and the options available to them. A single rate of interest for the postal Investment Account will be announced next year, and this will be higher than the prevailing Investment Account rate. (The Investment Account currently pays either 0.20% or 0.30% gross/AER – depending on the amount invested.) The postal Investment Account will be open to new savers from May 2012.
New applications for NS&I’s Easy Access Savings Account will cease from 28 November 2011, and any remaining customer accounts will close completely in July 2012. This applies to those investing at Post Offices and those investing directly through NS&I’s call centres and website. Customers will be given the option to transfer their savings to NS&I’s Direct Saver (this account currently pays 1.75% gross/AER against Easy Access Savings Account’s rate of 0.30%-0.70% gross/AER), or NS&I’s postal Investment Account (available from 21 May 2012).
From December NS&I will begin contacting customers to explain their options. Customers need not take any action until then.
As well as simplifying and modernising NS&I’s range of savings, these changes will help NS&I reduce its cost to the taxpayer and deliver a real saving of some 10% by 2015 – a requirement set down in the 2010 Spending Review.
Jane Platt, Chief Executive, NS&I, said: "Since 2007 we have been working to simplify and modernise our range of savings and to encourage our customers to invest with us directly. At the same time the Post Office has grown its own range of savings products.
“We’re very proud of the service we deliver to savers by post, online and, in particular, via our UK call centres where staff have an average of over 24 years’ experience and are available seven days a week, 365 days a year. We believe their expert knowledge of NS&I’s savings and investments will help our customers transfer to dealing with NS&I directly and we will work with our colleagues at the Post Office to support our customers through the changes".
The following savings and investments are already only available directly from NS&I:
1. Direct ISA – has always been direct only (online and by phone)
2. Direct Saver – has always been direct only (online and by phone)
3. Income Bonds – have always been direct only, originally by post but now also online and by phone. Brochures are available in Post Offices but these will be withdrawn from 28 November 2011
4. Fixed Interest Savings Certificates – no Issues currently on general sale. Changed to become direct only (online, by phone and by post) in May 2011
5. Index-linked Savings Certificates – no Issues currently on general sale. Changed to become direct only (online, by phone and by post) in May 2011
6. Guaranteed Growth Bonds and Guaranteed Income Bonds – no Issues currently on general sale. Became direct only (online, by phone and by post) in October 2009
7. Guaranteed Equity Bond – no Issues currently on sale. Changed to become direct only (online, by phone and by post in May 2005)
Notes to Editors
1. Premium Bonds are unique and NS&I’s most popular form of savings, with £41 billion invested and over 23 million customer holdings.
2. Savers will continue to be able to pick up information about NS&I’s range of savings via Post Office branches across the UK beyond 2013.
3. NS&I’s UK contact centres deliver excellent customer service: customer satisfaction with NS&I's direct channel service as measured by our customer satisfaction survey was 90% for April-July 2011.
4. NS&I is one of the largest savings organisations in the UK, offering a range of savings and investments to over 26 million customers. All products offer 100% capital security, because NS&I is backed by HM Treasury.
5. For further information, or to request an interview, please contact the NS&I media team.
020 7932 6789
020 7932 6633
020 7932 6611
ISDN for interviews: 020 7828 5288
Out of hours: All numbers above diverted to staff mobile phones