Savings and Investments (NS&I)
the National Savings and Investments
1861 the Palmerston Government set up the "Post Office Savings
Bank" - a simple savings scheme aiming to encourage ordinary
wage earners "to provide for themselves against adversity and
ill health". This scheme quickly became popular, and the deposits
found their way from the Post Office to the Exchequer, providing
a fund which the then Chancellor, Gladstone, could borrow for putting
towards public spending.
This set two principles which have remained in place:
provide a totally secure place for people to save, backed by the
provide the Exchequer with a source of funding (ie public borrowing).
Significant expansion over the next hundred years included the introduction
of Savings Certificates during the First World War to help finance
the war effort, while Premium Bonds were officially launched on
1 November 1956 by Harold Macmillan, Chancellor of the Exchequer.
The first draw took place on 2 June 1957. 1969 saw the first main
structural change - the Post Office Savings Bank became a separate
government department accountable to Treasury Ministers, and was
renamed National Savings. The Post Office still have a role, but
as a distribution outlet for National Savings and Investments products.
Over the years National Savings developed its range of savings and
investments to suit the market and meet the needs of customers and
the UK Government's need for funding. In 1996 National Savings became
an Executive Agency of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. While National
Savings and Investments remain accountable to the Treasury, Agency
status has given them greater autonomy in day-to-day management.
National Savings and Investments embarked on an ambitious modernisation
programme in 1999 when it signed a pioneering Public Private Partnership
with Siemens Business Services. Over four thousand staff were transferred
from National Savings to Siemens Business Services who now handle
the service delivery of their products, transforming business operations
such as call centres and upgrading information technology.
partnership has helped make Siemens Business Services one of the
United Kingdom's largest providers of back and front office services,
while National Savings and Investments gained access to leading-edge
IT systems, transaction processing, and business transformation
expertise. The original partnership deal was for ten years, and
in 2004 it was extended for another five years, taking the partnership
to 2014. One of the most innovative elements of the partnership
with Siemens Business Services is the creation of joint goals at
all levels through both organisations. This has meant significant
customer service improvements and cost efficiencies. It has also
meant improved customer access with the introduction of the telephone
and internet as sales and service channels.
National Savings and Investments has received many endorsements
of its quality and service. In 2004, it received its third Charter
Mark for Excellence in Public Service. This is building on other
awards such as the Kelly's Award for Excellence in Purchasing and
Supply in 2000 and reaching the final of the UNISYS Management Today
Service Excellence Awards in 2002 and 2003. In 2004 NS&I also
won the Institute of Financial Services Financial Innovations Award.
All of these awards recognise the benefits that their partnerships
have brought internally, to their customers and the UK tax payer.