Premium Bond holders express concern with new paper-free system

Some Premium Bond holders have expressed their concern with the new paper-free system after National Savings and Investments (NS&I) announced that it would stop paying winnings by cheque from March 2021.

NS&I announced that more Premium Bond prizes would be paid directly to holders’ accounts as part of its plans to phase out paper cheque prizes, with paper prizes, known as warrants, set to be removed completely by March 2021.

Some Premium Bond prizes are paid out in paper warrant, while some customers choose to have their prizes paid directly into their bank account, or to reinvest the money into more Premium Bonds.

As part of the plans, customers who have only ever had paper prizes must register on the NS&I website, including their bank details, or contact them over the phone before the Government-owned bank stops sending out cheques.

However, many customers have expressed concern about the move, given that they have significant amounts of money invested in Premium Bonds, have stated that they have spent hours trying to speak to advisers about their options.

21.1 million savers currently have premium bonds worth a total of £88.5 billion, with deposits 100 per cent guaranteed because they are backed by the Treasury.

Not all Premium Bond warrants are cashed in, meaning that there are currently more than 1.8 million unclaimed prizes worth £67 million.

NS&I has stated that paying customers by bank transfer will help to prevent prizes going unclaimed, as well as being cheaper and better for the environment.