National Savings & Investments (NS&I) has announced it will stop operating their accounts through branches of the Post Office.
From 28th November it will no longer be possible to open Instant or Easy Access Savings accounts, although Premium Bonds will still be available.
Savings accounts will only be available online, over the phone or by post following the change.
NS&I say the changes will help to reduce running costs by 10% and were part of a plan to “simplify and modernise” its range of savings products whilst trying to persuade customers to deal directly.
Jane Platt, chief executive of NS&I, said “We’re very proud of the service we deliver to savers by post, online and, in particular, via our UK call centres (which) are available seven days a week, 365 days a year.”
Instant Access Savings Account
The changes, which will be phased in between 28th November and May 2012, will affect 2.3 million people who hold Investment Accounts.
During this period no new accounts will be able to be opened over the counter, although existing savers will still be able to operate the accounts at Post Office branches.
From May 2012, the Investment Accounts will only be available by post, online or on the phone, at the same time it is reported that a higher rate of interest will be announced.
Easy Access Savings Account
A further 260,000 savers with Easy Access Accounts will also be affected.
The Easy Access Account will close completely from July 2012; savers will be offered the choice of moving their money to the Instant Access Account, the NS&I Direct Saver Account or a different account with another bank or building society.
The changes will not affect Premium Bonds, which account for 75% of all sales of NS&I products, and will still be available to buy at Post Offices.