National Savings & Investment (NS&I) is to close its Cash ISA and automatically transfer customers to its Direct ISA in May as part of long-standing plans to simplify its range of savings products.
NS&I said customers would benefit from the higher interest paid on the Direct ISA - 2.25% compared to the 0.5% currently available on the Cash ISA. The change, which comes into effect from 25 May, also affects customers in its T Cash ISA (formerly TESSA-only ISA).
NS&I will be lowering the minimum investment amount for its Direct ISA from £100 to £1 from 6 April 2013, while cash investments into Premium Bonds over the Post Office counter will end from 1 April 2013. Savers can still invest in Premium Bonds by cheque and debit card at the Post Office or directly from NS&I by post, phone, online or standing order.
Jane Platt, chief executive of NS&I, said the organisation had been working to modernise its savings product range since 2007, and that these changes would reduce its cost to the taxpayer and deliver a 10% reduction in its budget in real terms by 2015 - a requirement set down in the 2010 Spending Review.
An ambitious objective
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'Illusion of control'
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Total investment reaches £9m