National Savings and Investments

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National Savings and Investments
Welsh: Cynilion a Buddsoddiadau Cenedlaethol
Type Non-ministerial government department of HM Treasury
IndustryFinancial Services
Headquarters1 Drummond Gate,
London SW1V 2QX
Key people
  • Ed Anderson, Chairman
  • Ian Ackerley, Chief executive
ProductsSavings and Investments
Website OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

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 [1] and an executive agency of HM Treasury. [2] The aim of NS&I has been to attract funds from individual savers in the UK for the purpose of funding the government's deficit. 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. As of 2017, approximately 9% of the government's debt is met by funds raised through NS&I, [3] around half of which is from the Premium Bond offering.



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. [4] Despite its independence , it was used by Government in 1980 to fund a significant proportion of the Public Sector Borrowing Requirement. The then Director, Stuart Gilbert was given a target of £2 billion rising to £3.8 billion of the following three years to raise in National Savings - targets that were achieved.

The name was changed again in 2002 to National Savings and Investments. [5]

The previous graphic identity of NS&I, including the NS&I logotype, was created in 2005 by Lloyd Northover, the British design consultancy founded by John Lloyd and Jim Northover. [6] The identity was updated in 2020, however no public information has been released regarding this.


NS&I manages around £150 billion in savings. [7] Funds from NS&I have historically been a relatively cheap source of government borrowing. NS&I sets interest rates both to attract savers and provide low-cost finance for the government, and 100% of any individual's savings are guaranteed by HM Treasury; rules are in place to ensure that it does not offer market-leading products that would stifle competition. [8]


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, [9] who use a site in Chennai, India.

NS&I first outsourced out its operations in 1999 to Siemens Business Services; some 4,000 staff were transferred to Siemens, leaving 130 NS&I staff responsible for the design, management and marketing of products, and managing the relationship with Siemens. [10] A 2000 report by the National Audit Office stated that the contract was better value than keeping the operations in-house, and suggested other government departments could learn from the way this public-private partnership was procured and managed. [10] The Siemens business unit was acquired by Atos in 2011. [11]

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. [12] From 1 August 2015, NS&I stopped selling Premium Bonds through post offices, and became a purely direct business. [13]


NS&I offers a wide range of savings and investment products, specialising in tax-free and income-generating products. As of December 2019 the following are offered: [14]

Some further products are off-sale and only available for roll-over by maturing investments:

Former products

Products which are no longer available with NS&I include:

See also

Related Research Articles

An individual savings account is a class of retail investment arrangement available to residents of the United Kingdom. First introduced in 1999, the accounts have favourable tax status. Payments into the account are made from after-tax income, then the account is exempt from income tax and capital gains tax on the investment returns, and no tax is payable on money withdrawn from the scheme. Cash and a broad range of investments can be held within the arrangement, and there is no restriction on when or how much money can be withdrawn. Since 2017, there are four types of account: cash ISA, stocks & shares ISA, innovative finance ISA (IFISA) and lifetime ISA. Each taxpayer has an annual investment limit which can be split among the four types as desired. Additionally, children under 18 may hold a junior ISA, with a different annual limit.

Premium Bond

A Premium Bond is a lottery bond issued by the United Kingdom government since 1956. At present it is issued by the government's National Savings and Investments agency.

Interest rate Percentage of a sum of money charged for its use

An interest rate is the amount of interest due per period, as a proportion of the amount lent, deposited, or borrowed. The total interest on an amount lent or borrowed depends on the principal sum, the interest rate, the compounding frequency, and the length of time over which it is lent, deposited, or borrowed.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is one of two agencies that provide deposit insurance to depositors in U.S. depository institutions, the other being the National Credit Union Administration, which regulates and insures credit unions. The FDIC is a United States government corporation providing deposit insurance to depositors in U.S. commercial banks and savings banks. The FDIC was created by the 1933 Banking Act, enacted during the Great Depression to restore trust in the American banking system. More than one-third of banks failed in the years before the FDIC's creation, and bank runs were common. The insurance limit was initially US$2,500 per ownership category, and this was increased several times over the years. Since the passage of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2011, the FDIC insures deposits in member banks up to US$250,000 per ownership category.

War bond Government debt security issued to finance military operations and other wartime expenditure

War bonds are debt securities issued by a government to finance military operations and other expenditure in times of war. They are also a means to control inflation by removing money from circulation from a stimulated wartime economy. War bonds are either retail bonds marketed directly to the public or wholesale bonds traded on a stock market. Exhortations to buy war bonds are often accompanied by appeals to patriotism and conscience. Retail war bonds, like other retail bonds, tend to have a yield which is below that offered by the market and are often made available in a wide range of denominations to make them affordable for all citizens.

United States Treasury security

United States Treasury securities are government debt instruments issued by the United States Department of the Treasury to finance government spending as an alternative to taxation. Treasury securities are often referred to simply as Treasurys. Since 2012, U.S. government debt has been managed by the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, succeeding the Bureau of the Public Debt.

Postal savings systems provide depositors who do not have access to banks a safe and convenient method to save money. Many nations have operated banking systems involving post offices to promote saving money among the poor.

A time deposit or term deposit is a deposit in a financial institution with a specific maturity date or a period to maturity, commonly referred to as its “term”. Time deposits differ from at call deposits, such as savings or checking accounts, which can be withdrawn at any time, without any notice or penalty. Deposits that require notice of withdrawal to be given are effectively time deposits, though they do not have a fixed maturity date.

Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation

The Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation is a Canadian federal Crown Corporation created by Parliament in 1967 to provide deposit insurance to depositors in Canadian commercial banks and savings institutions. CDIC insures Canadians' deposits held at Canadian banks up to C$100,000 in case of a bank failure. CDIC automatically insures many types of savings against the failure of a financial institution. However, the bank must be a CDIC member and not all savings are insured. CDIC is also Canada's resolution authority for banks, federally regulated credit unions, trust and loan companies as well as associations governed by the Cooperative Credit Associations Act that take deposits.

Bureau of the Public Debt Former United States government agency

The Bureau of the Public Debt was an agency within the Fiscal Service of the United States Department of the Treasury. United States Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner directed the Bureau be combined with the Financial Management Service into the single Bureau of the Fiscal Service in 2012.

Canada Savings Bonds were investment instruments that were offered by the Government of Canada in between the years 1945 and 2017, sold between early October and December 1 of every year. The financial products were issued by the Bank of Canada and were intended to offer a competitive rate of interest and had a guaranteed minimum interest rate.

War savings stamps of the United States

War savings stamps were issued by the United States Treasury Department to help fund participation in World War I and World War II. Although these stamps were distinct from the postal savings stamps issued by the United States Post Office Department, the Post Office nevertheless played a major role in promoting and distributing war savings stamps. In contrast to Liberty Bonds, which were purchased primarily by financial institutions, war savings stamps were principally aimed at common citizens. During World War I, 25-cent Thrift stamps were offered to allow individuals to accumulate enough over time to purchase the standard 5-dollar War Savings Certificate stamp. When the Treasury began issuing war savings stamps during World War II, the lowest denomination was a 10-cent stamp, enabling ordinary citizens to purchase them. In many cases, collections of war savings stamps could be redeemed for Treasury Certificates or War Bonds.

A child trust fund (CTF) is a long-term savings or investment account for children in the United Kingdom. New accounts can no longer be created as of 2011, but existing accounts can receive new money: the accounts were replaced by Junior ISAs.


The KiwiSaver scheme, a New Zealand savings scheme, came into operation from Monday, 2 July 2007. Participants can normally access their KiwiSaver funds only after the age of 65, but can also use them as a deposit for a first home.

Index-linked Savings Certificates are inflation linked bonds from National Savings and Investments, the state-owned savings bank in the United Kingdom. The bond terms are typically 2,3 or 5 years. The returns are linked to the RPI with an escalating premium on top. The escalation encourages bonds to be held to term with higher return over inflation in the later years. From 1 May 2019 onwards the returns on bonds that are renewed will be linked to CPI rather than RPI.

United States Postal Savings System

The United States Postal Savings System was a postal savings system signed into law by President William Howard Taft and operated by the United States Post Office Department, predecessor of the United States Postal Service, from January 1, 1911, until July 1, 1967.

The Australian government debt is the amount owed by the Australian federal government. The Australian Office of Financial Management, which is part of the Treasury Portfolio, is the agency which manages the government debt and does all the borrowing on behalf of the Australian government. Australian government borrowings are subject to limits and regulation by the Loan Council, unless the borrowing is for defence purposes or is a 'temporary' borrowing. Government debt and borrowings have national macroeconomic implications, and are also used as one of the tools available to the national government in the macroeconomic management of the national economy, enabling the government to create or dampen liquidity in financial markets, with flow on effects on the wider economy.

Prize-linked savings account

Prize-linked savings is the concept of using the chance to win a prize to incentivize personal savings. A prize-linked savings account or PLSA is a savings account where some of the interest payment on bank deposits or marketing dollars are distributed as prizes based on chance. They are attractive to consumers as they function both as a sweepstakes or game of chance and as savings vehicle. PLSAs are similar to lottery bonds except they are offered by banks, credit unions, prepaid card companies, and FinTechs, and can be held for a period of time determined by the consumer. Sometimes the returns are in-kind prizes rather than cash.

Post Office Money

Post Office Money is a financial services brand operated by Post Office Ltd which provides credit cards, current accounts, insurance products, mortgages and personal loans to customers in the United Kingdom through Post Office branches, the internet and telephone.

National Savings (Pakistan)

The Central Directorate of National Savings is the state-owned savings bank of Pakistan. It operates as an autonomous governmental agency under the Ministry of Finance and is managed by Central Directorate of National Savings. Historically, the operations of National Savings have been geared towards obtaining funds from individual savers in Pakistan in order to provide non-bank financing to the government's fiscal deficit. Towards this aim, the organization offers savings products with competitive interest rates, along with a 100% guarantee from the government treasury on all deposits.


  1. "NS&I". GOV.UK. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
  2. "Who we are NS&I Corporate Site". 9 September 2015.
  3. Smith, Oliver (30 July 2018). "Doomed if interest rates go up? The UK government already spends £49 billion on debt interest". IG Markets. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  4. National Savings Bank Act 1971 UK government legislation, Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  5. Story of NS&I Archived 10 October 2013 at WebCite National Savings & Investments, 2013. Retrieved 10 October 2013. Archived here.
  6. NS&I John David Lloyd, 2013. Retrieved 10 October 2013. Archived here.
  7. NS&I Annual Report and Accounts 2016-2017 National Savings & Investments, 2017. Retrieved 21 November 2017. Archived here.
  8. Gompertz, Simon (14 September 2015). "NS&I cuts interest rate for thousands of savers". BBC News.
  9. "National Savings and Investments (NS&I)". Atos. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  10. 1 2 "National Savings: Public-Private Partnership with Siemens Business Services". National Audit Office. 25 May 2000. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  11. "NS&I confirms three-year contract extension with Atos". NS&I Corporate. 4 April 2019. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  12. "NS&I Announces Latest Changes As Part Of Its Five Year Modernisation Programme" (PDF). NS&I. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 February 2014. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  13. "NS&I 2014-15 results – Business goes 100% direct to satisfy customer demand and maintain efficiency". NS&I.
  14. NS&I Our products