Thousands of NS&I premium bond customers paid £600 by mistake & you won’t need to pay it back
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Premium Bond provider NS&I accidentally paid out £600 to more than 3,000 customers last year, resulting in a loss of £2million, it has been revealed. The company, which takes charge of premium bonds, made a huge loss after paying the wrong rate of interest to thousands of customers, its annual accounts have revealed.
NS&I accidentally paid 3,265 customers the equivalent of an extra £600 each in error. The mistake occurred when the Treasury-backed bank paid an interest rate increase two months to savers with guaranteed growth and income bonds. The savers will not have to pay the money back.
The National Savings and Investments (NS&I) accounts also showed how senior bosses collected substantial pay rises and bonuses last year despite reigning over a catalogue of severe customer service failures.
NS&I Chief Executive, Dax Harkins, said: “2022-23 was a year in which we delivered both for the government and for savers. We made a significant contribution to the Government’s debt financing requirements, helping to pay for the essential public services on which we all rely.
“We faced some challenges at points through the year, but we are also looking to the future as we make progress on our transformation programme, which will ensure we continue to deliver for our customers and the nation for many years to come, helping us to become the most trusted savings provider in the UK.”
The accounts revealed the average rise in staff pay across National Savings and Investments was 7.3 percent and bonuses rose 9.7 percent. However, Dax Harkins, the new chief executive of the Premium Bonds provider, is on a £120,000 to £125,000 salary, a drop from predecessor Ian Ackerley’s £190,000 to £195,000.
The report said the highest paid director earnt 4.6 times the bank’s salary average and received a 22pc bonus on top.
The pay rewards come after the department admitted in the report that it missed its customer satisfaction target by almost 10 percentage points. The report read: “Regrettably, NS&I missed its customer satisfaction target for the year, recording 74.56% against a target of 84%. The safety and security of customers’ money is of paramount importance to NS&I, and in July 2022, an additional layer of security was added to transactions.
“While large numbers of customers are using the new system without issue, a relatively small number experienced problems.”
Customer service failures included failing to pick up the phone within 30 seconds and two-factor authentication effectively locking customers out of their accounts.