NS&I relaunches guaranteed growth and income bonds
These products are back on general sale for the first time since 2009 but you can only open them online:
- The 1-year Guaranteed Growth Bond will pay an interest rate of 1.50% gross/AER, while the 3-year Bond will pay 2.20% gross/AER.
- The 1-year Guaranteed Income Bond will pay an interest rate of 1.45% gross/1.46% AER, and the 3-year Bond will pay 2.15% gross/2.17% AER.
They can be opened by anyone over the age of 16 and the minimum investment is £500 while the maximum is £1m per person per issue.
Savers also benefit from NS&I’s 100% HM Treasury guarantee on the full amount of up to £1m.
While the bonds are designed to be held for the whole term, they can be cashed in early with a penalty equivalent to 90 days’ interest on the amount cashed in. You must keep a balance of at least £500 to keep the bonds open.
How do they stack up?
These bonds aren’t quite as generous as previous NS&I offerings, but they are competitive, according to Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.
“The 3-year Guaranteed Growth Bond looks particularly strong, offering the second highest interest rate for a minimum investment of £500 over this term – and matching its current three-year offering, which is on sale until April 2018. The 1-year Guaranteed Growth Bond is also among the top five most generous rates (for £500) over this period, in the current market.”
Coles added that with the maximum £1m saving allowance, all guaranteed by the government, this offer will be particularly attractive to investors with significant savings.
“Their savings would otherwise need to sit in numerous accounts – with gradually less rewarding interest rates – in order to be protected under the £85,000 limit of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme,” she said.
However, data from Moneyfacts reveals the current top rate for a one year bond is an expected 2% profit rate from BLME, though the minimum investment is £25,000.
Otherwise, Atom Bank’s one-year bond offers 1.95% with an investment of just £50. For a three-year term, Atom Bank pays 2.25%. While the competitors offer more attractive rates, non of them offer NS&I’s 100% capital security.