One of the small surprises in March’s Budget was the announcement that National Savings & Investments (NS&I) would be launching “a new, retail savings product to give all United Kingdom savers the chance to support green projects”. No further information was given at the time and little attention shown from the media. In part, that was because NS&I was under a cloud following the administration problems stemming from its action late last year in slashing Income Bond interest rates from 1.15% to just 0.01%.
More details of the new bond, to be called the Green Savings Bond, have now emerged. NS&I have listed its key features as:
- A three-year fixed term, with no encashment during the term, beyond a 30-day cooling-off period.
- Available to anyone aged 16 and over.
- Purchase and management online only.
- The investment per person will be a minimum of £100 and a maximum of £100,000. Investments can be made jointly.
- Investors must have a UK bank account capable of receiving BACS payments.
- The Bond will be fixed rate, with interest earned daily and added once a year on its anniversary. The Bond is therefore unsuitable if you want a regular income.
- Interest is accumulated without deduction of tax at source. However, the interest is taxable each tax year an addition is made, not just at maturity.
The one key feature that NS&I did not reveal was the one of most interest: what return would the bond offer? NS&I unhelpfully said that this “will be available later in the year”. The rate is likely to be short of market leading. NS&I’s target for money raising in 2021/22 is £6 billion, about a quarter of what it collected in 2020/21, so it is not after massive sales. For investors reinvesting the maturity proceeds of three-year Guaranteed Growth Bonds, NS&I are currently offering a fixed rate of just 0.4%.
NS&I will be late to the green investment scene when the Green Savings Bond eventually arrives. To learn about the extensive range of green investments available today, please talk to us.
The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.
Investing in shares should be regarded as a long-term investment and should fit in with your overall attitude to risk and financial circumstances.
Source: Taxbriefs August 2021