Independent Scotland would lose access to NS&I products

Scotland and money

Residents of an independent Scotland will lose the ability to buy government-backed National Savings and Investment products, including premium bonds, unless they have a UK bank account.

Although this would not affect existing customers, NS&I has confirmed that someone contacting the organisation from Scotland looking to open an account would be refused, unless they held a UK bank account.

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A spokesperson says: “This does not mean that, in the event of a ‘yes’ vote in the referendum, we would ask those who are already NS&I customers living in an independent Scotland to close their accounts with NS&I.

“We currently have some customers who live overseas and do not have a UK bank account. For instance, a customer in Australia might hold premium bonds from childhood spent in the UK or a British expat in France might have an NS&I product dating back to when they lived in the UK.”

Issued by NS&I, premium bonds are unique in that they do not pay interest and never reach maturity. Instead, each £1 bond has a slight chance each month of winning a sum varying from £25 to £1 million, if their number is selected by a powerful computer.

From 1 June 2014 you can invest up to £40,000 in premium bonds. This is set to rise to £50,000 in Spring 2015.

This article was written for our sister website Money Observer