NS&I Green Bond launches savers can get better rates

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Michelle Monck

Michelle Monck

Consumer Finance Expert
Published: 22/10/2021

Savers can today open online the new NS&I Green Savings Bond at 0.65% gross for a fixed three-year term. This fixed rate bond can be opened online with £100 and has a maximum balance of £100,000. Deposited funds cannot be withdrawn before the three-year term ends. The Green Savings Bond will be available for three months.

The Green Savings bond was announced by the Chancellor in the Spring 2021 Budget and the money deposited will be used to fund green projects to help tackle climate change and help make the UK greener and more sustainable, examples include making transport greener, greater use of renewable energy over fossil fuels and adapting to a changing climate.

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Our world-first Green Savings Bonds give savers across the UK the chance to back the Government’s green projects and put their money to work in the fight against climate change.

“The UK is already a world leader in green finance and these innovative new savings bonds will deliver both financial returns and environmental benefits, in a transparent and secure way.”
Ian Ackerley, NS&I Chief Executive, said: “We are proud to be offering Green Savings Bonds on behalf of the Government. Green Savings Bonds will offer savers the chance to contribute towards the UK’s green agenda and support six key areas to help make our environment greener, cleaner and more sustainable. As well as helping the environment, savers will see a fixed return on their investment and will also benefit from NS&I’s 100% security on all capital invested.

“Green Savings Bonds will be on sale for at least three months, giving savers ample opportunity to invest and the Bonds will be available to purchase and manage online.”

Savers can earn more than double the interest with other three-year terms

The Green Savings Bond does lag the best rates in the market meaning savers need to decide if they want to trade off returns against the wider ethical benefits of this account. Right now, savers can earn more than double the rate of interest with the best three-year fixed rate bond paying 1.81% gross on anniversary from challenger bank, JN Bank and Al Ryan Bank. There are 77 three year fixed rate accounts paying a higher rate of interest and savers could match the rate of 0.65% gross with the best paying easy access accounts from Family Building Society and Coventry Building Society.

Savers wanting to put their money towards the planting of additional trees could also consider, Gatehouse Bank and its 3 Year Fixed Term Green Saver. This account has an expected profit rate of 1.78% on anniversary and plants a tree for every new account opened.

Rachel Springall, Finance Expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, said: “It’s encouraging to see an initiative to support green projects, but at 0.65% fixed for three years, savers could get a much higher rate elsewhere. Indeed, there are alternative brands offering green products, such as Gatehouse Bank which pays 1.78% gross as an expected profit rate on its three-year fixed Green Saver where a tree is planted on the savers' behalf. Some savers may not be too keen to lock their money away for two or three years, but there are fixed bonds for 12 to 18 months that pay over 1%. Savers could also seek out mutuals which support local causes, and some even pay a reasonable return on their easy access accounts at the moment.

“The positive side is that NS&I is a trusted brand and there will be savers attracted to them as a safe haven for their cash. In the past NS&I offered ‘pensioner bonds’. These offered a very attractive rate at the time and savers who were eligible were keen to take advantage. However, with the green bonds there may well be less of a stampede and more of a gradual take up for these bonds as they are unlikely to pull in savers by rate alone.”

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