5 minutes with… Andrew Pike, NS&I
22 April 2018
NS&I is a well known savings and investments brand in the UK but how much do you actually know about what they offer? Ahead of the Technical Insight Seminars where Andrew Pike, head of Intermediary Relationships, NS&I will be presenting at selected venues, we asked him to provide some insight into the Treasury-backed provider.
What do you see as NS&I’s USP or core offering to the market?
It would be our unique 100% security guarantee for all funds, even above the FSCS limit, due to our backing by HM Treasury. An individual can currently invest over £8m securely with NS&I, and a couple £16m, giving the clients and the advice firms complete peace of mind.
We also offer a unique product in Premium Bonds. In a survey last year, 74% of financial advisers said they recommended Premium Bonds to their clients. We also offer other unique products from time to time too.
Also, financial advice firms regularly say to us that recommending NS&I products to their clients, especially to new clients, can help engender trust in the advice firm itself.
For all these reasons, we believe that NS&I should be considered as the default home for the cash element of most clients’ investment portfolios.
Would you say NS&I is something of a hidden gem in the advice market?
The short answer is ‘yes’. For many years NS&I had a distant relationship with advice firms, and we’ve probably been perceived as being akin to the major banks and building societies. However, NS&I is really in a group of one, all on its own – we do not have our own branches, or our own advisers. We also have our unique proposition and our unique ‘owners’ – the Treasury. So we’re actually very different from them and should be viewed as such.
Over the last few years though, NS&I has tried to forge closer ties with the advice industry. We conducted a major strategy review in 2015, and as part of that we decided to significantly up-the-ante in our engagement with the industry. Over 750,000 NS&I customers have over £50,000 invested with us (and over 7,000 have over £1m with us), and if you add up the value of their holdings it equates to about 40% of all NS&I funds! Most of these customers will have sought financial advice, so it’s easy to see why we need to support advice firms.
To illustrate what I’m saying, we’ve made the following improvements in the last few years:
However, we’re still on the journey and have plans to launch online access to information on clients’ NS&I holdings later this year, and add NS&I products to platforms in the longer term.
Is there anything you’d like paraplanners to do before they attend your presentations at the Technical insight Seminars?
Ideally visit our dedicated website for financial advice firms – the Adviser Centre (www.nsandi-adviser.com) and take a look around. Also, you may wish to try out our new phone service for advice firms (see NS&I launches new phone servcies for financial advice firms: http://professionalparaplanner.co.uk/nsi-launches-new-phone-services-for-financial-advice-firms )
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