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  • National Savings and Investments

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    From the 1860s onwards, the customer would take their deposit book, such as this 1869 example, to a Post Office each time they made a transaction. A 1921 receipt for a deposit of one shilling in the Post Office Savings Bank. A publicity stamp from around the end of the Second World War urging investors to buy National Savings Certificates for National Reconstruction. A National Savings Week publicity label from 1949.National Savings and Investments (NS&I), formerly called the Post Office Savings Bank and National Savings, is a state-owned savings bank in the United Kingdom. It is both a non-ministerial government department and an executive agency of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Historically, the aim of NS&I has been to attract funds from individual savers in the UK for the purpose of funding the government’s public sector borrowing requirement (i.e., the funds in excess of taxation that the government requires to fund its expenditure). NS&I attracts savers through offering savings products with tax-free elements on some products, and a 100% guarantee from HM Treasury on all deposits.

  • Postal savings system

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    Postal savings systems provide depositors who do not have access to banks a safe and convenient method to save money. Many nations have operated banking systems involving post offices to promote saving money among the poor.

  • Premium Bond

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    An ERNIE money box. A Premium Bond is a lottery bond issued by the United Kingdom government's National Savings and Investments agency. The bonds are entered in a regular prize draw and the government promises to buy them back, on request, for their original price. The bonds were introduced by Harold Macmillan in 1956. The government pays interest on the bond (1.40% per year as at December 2017). Interest is paid into a fund from which a monthly lottery distributes tax-free prizes to bondholders whose numbers are selected randomly. The machine that generates numbers is ERNIE, for Electronic Random Number Indicator Equipment. Prizes range from £25 to £1,000,000. Between 2005 and 2009, there were two £1m prizes each month and the minimum prize was £50, but prizes were reduced after the 2009 drop in interest rates. A second £1m prize was reintroduced in August 2014. Investors can buy bonds at any time which have to be held for a calendar month before they qualify for a prize. Numbers are entered in the draw each month, with an equal chance of winning, until the bond is cashed. Winners of the jackpot are told on the first working day of the month, although the actual date of the draw varies. The online prize finder is updated by the third or fourth working day of the month. From 1 January 2009 the odds of winning a prize for each £1 of bond was 36,000 to 1. In October 2009, the odds returned to 24,000 to 1 with the prize fund interest rate increase. The odds reached 26,000 to 1 by October 2013 and then reverted to 24,500 to 1 in November 2017. As of July 2018, each person may own bonds up to £50,000. Bonds can be bought in units of £1 after the first £100, with a value of £1 per bond and a minimum purchase of 100 bonds (or 50 bonds when paying by standing order). When introduced in 1957 they were popular – the only other similar game was football pools. The National Lottery did not exist until 1994. In Ireland, the Prize Bond originated in early 1957.

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