Around 2.5million NS&I savers are getting paid less than 0.7 per cent on their savings, the government’s savings arm admitted recently. The worst hit 2.3million sits in a National Savings & Investments ‘Investment Account’ that pays a maximum of just 0.3 per cent. That means that the government-backed body is paying great swathes of the population less than the Bank of England’s base rate – supposedly a minimum standard – of 0.5 per cent.
The alarming figures emerged as NS&I pulled some of its services out of the Post Office, it will stop offering its Investment Account and Easy Access Savings Account, which has 260,000 savers, through Post Office branches. The move will leave just Premium Bonds and one other savings account on offer via Post Office branches.
Of it’s remaining accounts the Investment Account, first launched in 1966 and is getting a makeover and a ‘higher rate’ in May next year when it converts into a postal-only account with statements rather than a passbook. The Easy Access Savings Account, launched in 2004, recently closed to new savers on 28 November and in July 2012 it will shut down completely. NS&I has been encouraging customers to switch out of the account that pays a sliding scale 0.2 – 0.7 per cent and into its Direct Saver which pays 1.75 per cent.
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