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