National Savings & Investments (NS&I)

National Savings and Investments (NS&I) offer a wide range of savings and investment products that are backed by HM Treasury. Some are not always available or are limited offers – keep an eye out for good deals.

What is NS&I?

NS&I is a government bank that offers saving and investment products to the public. It’s the only bank in the country that’s backed by a government department, the HM Treasury.

NS&I changes its products often and at any given time you might find the following investment or savings account options:

  • Income Bonds
  • Premium Bonds
  • Direct ISA (a Cash ISA)
  • Guaranteed Equity Bonds
  • Direct Saver – a savings account
  • Investment account – a savings account you manage by post
  • Fixed Interest or Index-Linked Savings Certificates
  • Guaranteed Growth Bonds and Guaranteed Income Bonds
  • Junior ISAs

How they work

When saving or investing with NS&I, you’re lending to the government and your money is totally secure.

Different NS&I products might pay interest, stock market or inflation-linked returns (income) or, in the case of Premium Bonds, tax-free prizes.

Some NS&I products might charge penalties if you cash out early for some investment products, meaning you may get less back than your original investment.

Unlike most UK banks, the NS&I is for savings only. This means it doesn’t lend money. For example, you can’t take out a mortgage or a credit card.

Risk and return

With savings accounts you’re guaranteed to get back all your money unless you’re charged a penalty for early access. As with any cash or investment-based product, if inflation is high, your money might not hold its value in real terms - in other words its ‘buying power’ will be eroded by inflation.

Just because the NS&I is backed by the government, it doesn’t mean you’ll get better interest rates than other banks. If a good deal is important to you make sure you do your research before investing.

Access to your money

Some savings accounts allow instant access while it might be up to several years for bonds and savings certificates.

If you do need to ‘cash in’ a fixed term bond early you’ll usually pay a charge to do so. It’s important to read all the  terms and conditions before you open an account.

Safe and secure?

Your savings or investments are secure and backed by HM Treasury however much you save or invest, subject to any early encashment penalties on some investment products.

For other authorised UK banks,  building societies and credit unions, your savings are usually protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

Where to get NS&I products

Tax on NS&I accounts

Some NS&I products pay returns that are free from income and capital gains tax.

These include:

  • Cash ISAs
  • Premium Bonds
  • Fixed Interest and Index-Linked Savings Certificates
  • Junior ISAs.

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Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

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