NS&I Green Bond pulled in £228m



NS&I’s new Green Bond pulled in £228m, according to the government-backed savings body’s Annual Report for 2021/2022.

The amount raised helped NS&I deliver £4.4 billion of net financing to the government over the past year.

NS&I said Green Savings Bonds, which help raise funds towards tackling climate change, were “successfully launched” although critics said the amount raised was modest.

NS&I launched Green Savings Bonds in October 2021, following the Chancellor’s announcement in the Spring Budget 2021. In total, Green Savings Bonds achieved sales of £288 million as at 31 March 2022. A second Issue of the Bonds went on sale in February 2022 and the interest rate was increased from 0.65% to 1.30%.

Critics said the amount raised by the Green Savings Bonds was underwhelming.

Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Calling the Green Bond launch a success is being very generous, because it was obvious to anyone with an eye on interest rates that it wouldn’t raise much cash. 

“NS&I has discovered the hard way that we weren’t willing to plough our cash into something with a green label regardless of the rate – even when it came from an incredibly trusted brand like NS&I.”

Separately, as part of its annual report NS&I announced its ‘Transforming NS&I’ drive with NS&I awarding the first of four new outsourcing partnership contracts to IBM as NS&I starts to add new distribution partners.

NS&I chief executive, Ian Ackerley, said: “This has been a successful year for NS&I, in which we have met all of our financial targets and restored customer service to our normal high standards.

“After a challenging period during the pandemic, I am proud of the work we have done to bounce back and deliver what our customers deserve – the ability to save in our unique products with fast, responsive and friendly customer service.”

“Our new partnership with IBM is the start of building our future business. Working with multiple suppliers, we will be able to modernise our operation with new technology and deliver ongoing savings to taxpayers.”

NS&I said it had improved customer satisfaction which dipped during the pandemic. Customer satisfaction fell to 70.6% in November 2020 but has now recovered to 84.8%.

NS&I met nine and missed four of its 13 service delivery measures in 2021-22. NS&I met the service delivery measures for areas such as net financing, fraud management and ethnic diversity but missed targets in digital first, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), gender balance and employee engagement.