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16m NS&I customers will lose their Premium Bond postal prizes

NS&I accused of misleading savers as it is revealed 16m customers will lose their Premium Bond postal prizes

National Savings and Investments (NS&I) has been accused of misleading savers after it emerged that more than 16 million customers will have Premium Bond prize cheques withdrawn.

In justifying the decision to stop sending prizes in the post, NS&I had said that nearly three-quarters of its prizes were paid directly into bank accounts or reinvested.

But it has since confirmed to Money Mail that 76 per cent of its 21.4 million Premium Bond savers are still signed up to receive prize warrants in the post. Most will be savers with small holdings who don’t win regularly.

In justifying the decision to stop sending prizes in the post, NS&I had said that nearly three-quarters of its prizes were paid directly into bank accounts or reinvested

Former pensions minister Ros Altmann, says: ‘I must admit this is very worrying. It would seem NS&I has been slightly misleading in the way it has presented information to the public to justify its hugely unpopular decision.’

NS&I was accused of ignoring the wishes of older savers and pushing them online. The Government savings arm had been due to scrap cheques in December, but pushed the move back until spring after a customer-service crisis.

Yet it has still not revealed exactly when savers will lose the warrants.

Anna Bowes, of website Savings Champion, says: ‘NS&I does need to provide its customers with some notice.’

NS&I says 16.3 million Premium Bond holders have not registered their bank details and winners will not be paid until they have completed the process.

It added that customers who have not registered the details will receive letters asking for their bank details if they win a prize.

A spokesman adds: ‘The phasing out of Premium Bonds prize cheques has been postponed until Spring 2021 and we will announce a new date in due course, giving appropriate notice to customers.’

f.parker@dailymail.co.uk

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