The NS&I and Premium Bonds
Premium bonds were conceived in 1861. It was set up so that ordinary people could save and invest their money if case of accident or death. The original name of the program was called the Post Office Saving Bank. It popularity spread an soon the Chancellor was borrowing money from the funds so that he could support public projects. This gave the premium bonds a duel purpose. First the bond where considered a source of a secure investment that could not go bankrupt or could not loose value. Second the bonds were seen as a way to give the government a source of funds when taxes and other monies were not enough.
The Post Office Bank sold saving certificates that did offer a lottery system to go with them. In 1957 a lottery was issued once a month to persuade British citizens to invest more money. In 1967 the Post Office management changed hands and the Treasury Department took over. The program was renamed the National Savings and the Post Office became the major supplier of premium bonds. The National Savings part of it became a source of other investments besides premium bonds. In 1996 the post office became the store of the agency and the National Savings and Investment became more aligned with the Chancellor. All a citizen had to do was to go to the post office and make a hundred pound investment toward a bond purchase. They could invest until they reached the cap of thirty thousand pounds.
Siemens Corp became apart of the operation in 1999. In an attempt to modernize the agency over 4000 agency employees were sent to Siemens schools for business to learn new investing techniques. Since then the employees have become more professional in the delivery of investment services. New call centers were added and more technology was used in the handling of investment portfolios. Siemens will end its contract with the National Savings and Investments in 2014 and the agency will be self-sufficient in its own affairs.
Through their training, the employees of the National Savings and Investment have met goals of improved customer care and the professional implication of investment opportunities. The use of the internet has made the communication between provider and customer easier to facilitate and information about the company can be found at the stroke of a keyboard. As the popularity of premium bonds grows so will the commitment of National Savings and Investment to provide their customers with professional, friendly service.
The growth of premium bonds has skyrocketed in the past decade. The negative impact of the growth is that the chances of having your bond picked by the random number generator is widening. Statistically the bigger the population of numbers the gap grows wider for the individual investor to be selected. Many people are pulling their premium bonds investment and putting them into traditional low interest savings accounts. This pull back from impatient investors may reverse the numbers so the chances of winning will grow.