National Savings

National Savings and Investments (NS&I), formerly called the National Savings Bank, is an executive agency of HM Treasury. The aim of NS&I is to attract funds from individual savers in the UK for the purposes of funding the government’s public sector borrowing requirement (i.e., the funds in excess of taxation that the government requires to fund its activities). NS&I's head office is in Kensington, London, with operational sites in Blackpool, Glasgow and Durham. NS&I attracts savers through offering saving products with tax free elements, and a 100% guarantee from HM Treasury over any deposits.

NS&I's most popular product - Premium Bonds - celebrated its 50th anniversary in November 2006 when a special 5 x £1m jackpot draw was announced. A second 5 x £1m jackpot anniversary draw in June 2007 celebrated 50 years since the very first prize draw.

National Savings and Investments was founded in 1861 as the Post Office Savings Bank. The aim of the bank was to allow workers "to provide for themselves against adversity and ill-health", and to provide the government with access to debt funding. The bank's name later changed to National Savings Bank, and later to National Savings and Investments.

NS&I manages around £72 billion in savings, 10% of the UK savings market. This accounts for 17% of the UK's national debt. As funds from NS&I are a relatively cheap source of government borrowing, the bank sets interest rates both to attract savers and provide low-cost finance for the government.

 


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