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Three-year green savings bonds launched by NS&I



G

reen savings bonds giving savers across the UK the chance to back the Government’s environmental projects are being made available to take out online.

Savers aged 16 or over can take out the bonds, which pay a fixed annual rate of 0.65% over a three-year term, via Treasury-backed savings provider NS&I’s website.

The bonds, unveiled in the spring 2021 budget, will be on sale for a minimum period of three months, NS&I said. The minimum investment is £100 with a maximum limit of £100,000 per person.

The Chancellor must really hope that the nation is wearing green trousers as the rate being offered is pants.

The full amount deposited will be held for three years and cannot be withdrawn during this time.

Experts said savers could get significantly better rates elsewhere.

Martin Lewis founder of MoneySavingExpert.com, said: “The Chancellor must really hope that the nation is wearing green trousers as the rate being offered is pants.

“It’s only paying 0.65% interest a year, a paltry amount compared to what’s available on the open market – it only just matches the top easy-access savings account, yet with the green bonds you have no access to your money and it’s locked away for three years.”

Mr Lewis added: “This is quite simply not an account that those whose focus is maximising interest will look at – it’s likely only something those willing to sacrifice substantial interest in order to support what they hope will be green causes are likely to consider.”

Andrew Hagger, a personal finance expert from Moneycomms, said: “We knew these bonds were on the cards but no announcement was made on the rate until now – and perhaps you can see why – 0.65% is way out of kilter with the market.”

Rachel Springall, a 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.



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