Published On: Thu, Jul 23rd, 2020

Martin Lewis: Money Saving Expert says NS&I is safest place for savings | Personal Finance | Finance

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Saving money is a habit which many people will get into. And, while not everyone may look at ways in which they can make these savings work harder, Martin Lewis today explained some options.

“Currently, and unprecedentedly, the top-paying easy-access savings all come from by far the safest place, NS&I (used to be called National Savings), the Government-backed savings institution.”

Addressing variable interest rates, Martin went on to explain why these accounts may provide some “certainty”.

“And it’s just been told to increase its fundraising from £6billion in March to £35billion now, so its rates are likely to stay strong providing you certainty,” he said.

Martin went on to provide some brief insight into three different accounts available from the government-backed savings bank.

Addressing NS&I Income Bonds – currently offering 1.16 percent AER on a minimum saving of £500, he said: “It’s the top payer.

“While the name’s strange, Income Bonds are just easy-access savings, and can be operated online.

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“Deposits and withdrawals must be in blocks of £500 plus, and interest is paid monthly into a separate account (so you don’t earn compounded interest).”

For this account, the maximum savings a person can have in it is £1million.

Martin also spoke about the NS&I Direct Saver – something which offers one percent, with a minimum savings limit of £1.

“The Direct Saver is simple and can be operated online,” he said.

“You have full flexibility on withdrawals and deposits, while the interest is paid into the account annually and compounds.”

Per person, the maximum amount a person can save is £2million in this account.

Another option is the NS&I Investment Account.

This offers 0.8 percent, and savers can invest between £20 and £1million in this account.

“The Investment Account works like the Direct Saver, except you operate it by post – including withdrawals,” Martin said.

Martin also flagged the NS&I Junior ISA pays 3.25 percent, and the direct cash ISA pays 0.9 percent – making them both market-leading.

“It’s also top for other accounts too including 3.25 percent junior ISA and 0.9 percent direct cash ISA,” he said.

“Importantly, its rules say it must tell you two months in advance of rate cuts which adds some comfort.

“And compared to the best of the rest, Yorkshire Building Society pays the next-best easy-access rate, at 0.8 percent AER variable if you deposit £10,000 plus (0.9 percent if you deposit £50,000).

“For smaller amounts, Saga pays 0.75 percent AER variable and can be opened with £1.”

Martin then explained that despite fixed rates normally being higher than those offered on easy access accounts, at this moment in time, “NS&I beats the top one year fix and is equal to the top two year”.

For savers looking for certainty that their money is safe, Martin had another point to make.

“Money in NS&I is as safe as savings get – even if you’re lucky enough to have millions,” he said.

“All UK-regulated savings accounts are protected up to £85,000 per person per institution under the UK safe savings scheme, but for those with more, NS&I is an easy winner, as it’s Government-backed so it’s all protected.”

Good Morning Britain airs weekdays on ITV from 6am.



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