NS&I sales surge after the exodus from Northern Rock

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The Independent Online

Savers are flocking to the government-run National Savings & Investments (NS&I) in the wake of the financial crisis at Northern Rock bank.

NS&I said telephone and internet enquiries were well above normal levels and that new deposits had doubled.

Phone sales of its savings bonds have been nearly five times higher than usual since the Northern Rock story broke on 13 September. Sales of its income bonds are also way above normal.

But the most popular product is still its easy access savings account, which pays 5.15 per cent on deposits of more than £50,000.

NS&I appeals to savers because it is backed by the Treasury, giving 100 per cent security that they will get their money back.

"Our call centre enquiries are up 30 per cent since the end of last week alone," says Gill Stephens, spokeswoman for NS&I.

"It is a flight to safety. With the government backing we offer, the saver can be sure, however large the investment, that their money is totally safe."

Ms Stephens could not say for sure that the flood of new money was from former Northern Rock customers, but it does seem plausible.

NS&I has been going since the 1860s and currently manages some 30 million accounts. It is best known for offering premium bonds.

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