|Post Office Savings Bank
National Savings and ERNIE...
The Post Office Savings
Bank offered a whole range of products which encouraged
every family member to be a National Saver..
Savings Certificates, Savings Bank Accounts, Trustee Savings
Accounts, Savings Stamps and, from 1956, Premium Savings
Image: Invest in Britain -
Courtesy of NS & I.
In 1861 the Palmerston Government set up
the "Post Office Savings Bank" - a simple savings scheme aiming to
encourage ordinary wage earners "to provide for themselves against
adversity and ill health".
Over the years both the products and the slogans changed, typically
"Tall oaks from little acorns grow. Join the Post Office Savings Bank"
to in more recent times
"Inflation beating savings"
Prior to 1969, the Post Office had responsibility for Savings Accounts,
Savings Certificates and Premium Bonds (ERNIE).
On 1st October 1969, when the Post Office became a Corporation, the
Savings Bank functions remained as part of the Exchequer and became
A Government Department
The General Post Office (GPO),
a Government Department headed by a Government Minister (the Postmaster
General), had a monopoly in UK telecoms and postal services. On 1st
October, The Post Office Act 1969 established the GPO as a statutory
corporation headed by a Chairman appointed by the Government.
Post Office Savings Bank
...The Organisational History
Here we study in
more detail the organisational history of the Post Office Savings Bank from
its inception, through many changes to more
Image: "Tall oaks from
little acrons grow."
National Savings Movement
During the first world war (WWI 1914 to 1918) the Goverment
needed to both reduce borrowing and to raise funds for the
war effort. Consequently, the
National Savings Movement was established in 1916 to
encourage the British people to 'save and prosper'.
Opposite: "With the
Grateful Thanks and Appreciation of the Coventry Savings
The Story of Premium Savings Bonds -
Premium Bonds were officially launched on 1st November 1956
by Harold MacMillan, Chancellor of the Exchequer. The first draw
took place on 2nd June 1957.
The winning numbers were generated
by ERNIE - Electronic Random Number Indicator Equipment...
Image: Series 'A' Premium
Savings Bonds & Certificates
The Department for National Savings controlled the issue of
stock and bonds
More details to follow...
Image: 7% British Savings Bond (First Issue).
SAYE - Save As You Earn
Department for National Savings - SAYE
was a Save As You Earn Scheme with contributions
automatically deducted from salary.
Later schemes were named Yearly Plan.
[Similar modern day schemes typically allow purchase of
company shares at an advantageous rate, linked to a savings
Early savings bank books were fawn coloured as in the advert (at the top
of this page). Later ones were silver grey colour, but the most familiar
was the 'Blue Book' with a plastic cover which was introduced in 1966.
By using the network of Post Offices, investors could simply
present their savings book over the counter, with a deposit or
withdrawal slip, to quickly have access to their money.
Passbook Closes on the Ordinary Account
Extract from press release 11th December 2003...
"National Savings and Investments (NS&I) plans to launch
a new savings account in early 2004. In recent months, NS&I
has been investigating a range of straightforward savings
solutions to provide the flexibility that meets the needs of
today's customers. The new savings account has been created
in response to changing customer needs and will be launched
in place of the Ordinary Account, which opened in 1861, but
has not kept pace with other savings accounts. Ordinary
Account customers will be able to use their accounts until
July 2004, but will be invited to transfer to the new, more
flexible savings account from the end of January 2004."
Image © Damon
Hart-Davis UK National Savings Bank Ordinary Account
passbook, outside blue and clear soft plastic with blue
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