National Savings and Investments
This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (October 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
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 HM Treasury on all deposits.
|Non-ministerial government department and executive agency of the Chancellor of the Exchequer|
|Headquarters||1 Drummond Gate,|
London SW1V 2QX
|Products||Savings and Investments|
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 1 June 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 £150 billion in savings. Funds from NS&I have historically been a relatively cheap source of government borrowing. The bank sets interest rates both to attract savers and provide low-cost finance for the government. 100% of savings are government guaranteed, with rules in place to ensure that it does not offer market-leading products that would stifle competition.
NS&I's head office is in Pimlico, London, with operational sites in Blackpool, Glasgow, Birkenhead and Durham. However, its entire back office operation is contracted out to a French company, Atos Global IT Solutions and Services, who use a site in Chennai, India. Until July 2011, this contract was held by Siemens IT and Solutions.
In the past the bank offered many of its services through post offices, but 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. From 1 August 2015, NS&I stopped selling Premium Bonds through post offices, and became a purely direct business.
NS&I offers a wide range of savings and investment products, specialising in tax-free and income-generating products. Some of these are off-sale and only available for roll-over by maturing investments:
Products which are no longer on sale with NS&I include:
- 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.
- "Who we are NS&I Corporate Site". Nsandi.com. 9 September 2015.
- Story of NS&I National Savings & Investments, 2013. Retrieved 10 October 2013. Archived here.
- NS&I John David Lloyd, 2013. Retrieved 10 October 2013. Archived here.
- NS&I Annual Report and Accounts 2016-2017 National Savings & Investments, 2017. Retrieved 21 November 2017. Archived here.
- Gompertz, Simon (14 September 2015). "NS&I cuts interest rate for thousands of savers". BBC News.
- "NS&I Announces Latest Changes As Part Of Its Five Year Modernisation Programme" (PDF). NS&I. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
- "NS&I 2014-15 results – Business goes 100% direct to satisfy customer demand and maintain efficiency". NS&I.