You are not alone to face this riddle. Of the 870,000 offshore holders of premium bonds with a total investment of 1.4 billion, 94% are still required to provide NS&I with UK bank account information.
NS&I ran into serious problems with customer service after drastically cutting savings rates in November and triggering customer churn. The knock-on effect is that many premium bond holders are unable to provide the requested account details. A spokesperson for NS&I apologized for having trouble finding the information.
For international bond holders, NS & I said it may not be realistic to continue holding bonds without providing UK account information.
This is disappointing. Many overseas customers, like their grandchildren, have held bonds for decades and will be reluctant to give up.
The odds of winning monthly prizes are small, don’t mind the 1m pot, but when you cash them out, there’s no. NS&I said that over the past six years, overseas holders have won 273 great value (more than 5,000) awards, two of which are 1m jackpots. Now offshore bondholders who are unable to open a UK bank account seem to be facing Hobsons’ choice with just one monetization option.
Many banks do not offer UK accounts to non-residents. With Brexit, customers from European Economic Area countries can soon be added to this list.
NS&I suggested that your grandson call the group helpline on 01 253 832007 to discuss your options.
Will they get more joy than you? I have my doubts. I struggled to get a definite answer. You will definitely know that relatives residing in the UK like you will not be able to receive any prizes on their behalf, unless you have a power of attorney registered in each grandson’s personal account (which is completely legal, but NS&I guarantees this) Said I wouldn’t do it). Anyway, this expensive and time consuming route says it doesn’t suit you.
If you can’t or don’t want to open a UK account, you can monetize your bonds. NS&I issues a warrant for the full value of the closure. At least this will reassure you that your money isn’t permanently trapped like you were afraid of.
Tell them you’ve decided to wait and see. I think this is a wise policy as NS&I confirmed last week that preparations for overseas customers are under review and in the meantime, customers and grandchildren will continue to receive prizes.
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