United Kingdom

NS&I customers demand it ditches plan to scrap cheques for good 

Today Money Mail lays bare your distraught reaction to NS&I's proposal to axe Premium Bond cheques and pay winnings direct into bank accounts instead.

This means customers must provide their bank details online or over the phone, which many savers say they are just not comfortable doing.

The Treasury-backed bank yesterday bowed to pressure from the Daily Mail and delayed the change until spring next year.

Victory: National Savings & Investments is to delay axing Premium Bond cheques until Spring next year

But while pausing the move will come as a relief to millions of elderly and vulnerable savers, Money Mail is now calling on National Savings & Investments (NS&I) to scrap the hugely unpopular policy for good. At present, five million customers still receive their winnings by cheque.

This week, we will send NS&I a dossier containing hundreds of your heartfelt letters and emails detailing how upset you are about its decision to stop sending prizes in the post.

Here's a taster of what you said...

Thank you for fighting our corner as oldies on the wrong side of 75. One of life's little pleasures is opening the post each month.

 We do not bank online or by telephone. I feel like a nuisance no one wants anymore.

B. J., Glossop, Derbyshire

I'd like Mr Ackerley [chief executive of NS&I] to know I'll be cashing in my entire £50,000 investment due to the shoddy way NS&I have treated us.

I know many others who are planning to do the same if it stops sending us our prize cheques in the post.

J. W., Cliffe, Kent

My husband is 90 and deaf. I am 88. We cannot register our details online and we are fed up of being put on hold for ages. 

What do we do? Cheques for people like us were perfect. Please reconsider. You have put us in a nightmare position.

J. W., Milton Keynes

I am a childless, 78-year-old widow, who is not online and does not own a smartphone. 

I am already victimised because of this by banks and utility companies. They all side-line people like me until we shuffle off this mortal coil.

J. T., Mansfield Woodhouse, Notts

As an 83-year-old, disabled and house-bound Premium Bond holder living alone, I was angered and upset by NS&I's decision. 

It is making life very difficult for older people, who do not understand modern technology.

M. A., Harrogate, North Yorkshire

I am a 77-year-old widow with no children who lives alone and has no computer. I phoned the helpline and after holding for 39 minutes I finally spoke to a human. 

The young man was kind, but things got very complicated and I eventually admitted defeat.

C. A., Sidmouth, Devon

I am 64 and have held Premium Bonds since I was a baby. When my mother died, I spent what she left me on buying the maximum investment. 

Mr Ackerley needs to allow customers to choose how they receive their prizes.

N. P., Stamford, Lincolnshire

As a 93-year-old Premium Bond holder with the maximum £50,000 investment, I feel let down by NS&I. 

Millions of people like me still get their prizes by post, so I don't understand why this can't continue.

M. W., Northwich, Cheshire

Premium Bonds are far more than a figure on an electronic device. They are the anticipation each month and the joy of seeing that envelope on the doormat. 

Like a book as opposed to a Kindle, it's nice to hold that warrant in your hand.

D. L., Gainsborough, Lincolnshire

After a close shave with an online scammer a few years ago, I feel safer taking my prize cheque to the bank. 

I am beginning to forget things and worry I will make mistakes if I switch to online banking.

D. B., email

I was dismayed to hear that NS&I is no longer paying winnings by paper cheques. 

Younger people in so many fields of finance seem to forget or ignore the fact that we 'oldies' either cannot understand or do not trust ourselves to use modern systems.

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M. H., Portishead, Somerset

My wife and I have around £90,000 invested in Premium Bonds between us, but we are now considering withdrawing them all. 

With so many scams taking place online, I don't want to register my details on NS&I's website.

P. J., Sheffield

We have no wish to register our bank details online. If the powers that be decide that we can no longer receive our prize cheques in the post, then we will sadly be cashing in our investments.

J. B., Devon

I am 94 and have £50,000 of Premium Bonds. I do not use the internet and worry about the lack of security. 

If five million people get the prizes by post, why can't this continue? I feel let down by NS&I. Perhaps the Government should intervene?

M. W., Cuddington, Northwich

I spent an hour on the telephone and when I finally got through to provide my bank details, I was advised that I would be notified by post if I won any future prizes. How does that save paper?

L. D., Crowthorne, Berkshire

I have two aunts - one in her late 80s and the other in her early 90s. Neither has access to the internet. 

They have both held Premium Bonds since 1956 and they're very concerned about not getting their prize cheques by post anymore.

N. R., Chelsfield, Kent

I have £50,000 in Premium Bonds, a few of them bought over 60 years ago when I was a child. It is always such a thrill to receive the cheques in the post. 

Why change the system in the middle of a pandemic when there are not enough staff to cope?

V. H., Axminster

Both my husband and I have held Premium Bonds since 1963 and we enjoy getting our winning cheques in the post. 

We are intelligent people who choose not to have broadband or smartphones. NS&I can't order us about like naughty schoolchildren just to save money.

L.M., Lincoln

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