NS&I: The missing link

Stop looking for that missing piece of your clients’ portfolio

You can now view their NS&I holdings online

The four pillars of any financial portfolio are equities, bonds, property and cash. So why is it that cash as an asset class, has so often been overlooked previously within the financial advice profession?

Cash deposits are essential for any financial portfolio as they provide an important element of liquidity and security.

The financial advice profession has changed since the Retail Distribution Review in 2012. Increased fee transparency now means that clients expect much more from their financial advice firm, including managing all their savings and investments on their behalf. Recent turbulent market changes and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic have only accelerated this trend, further highlighting the important role cash can play within a portfolio.

Treasury backing

NS&I is one of the largest cash providers in the UK, with 25m customers and almost £190bn invested, giving them a unique insight into the world of cash. Being an Executive Agency of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, NS&I is backed by HM Treasury, which means they offer a unique 100% security for all funds, even above the FSCS limit. As such, NS&I is considered to be the default cash option for many as they offer peace of mind for both clients and their advice firms.

As Rosie Richard, Financial Adviser at Hargreaves Lansdown point out: “For millions the NS&I brand stands for financial security, and remains the first-choice safe haven.”

NS&I is best known for Premium Bonds but also offers income and fixed term products, ISAs and other savings accounts. An individual can invest over £4m with NS&I risk free, allowing them to create a sufficient ‘cash buffer’ whatever the size of their financial portfolio. Additionally, NS&I has announced the exciting news of the new Green Savings Bonds coming up later this year.

However, the market changes over recent years have not only emphasised the importance of security, but also the level of service that advice firms provide to their clients.

Service enhancements

Clients now expect their financial adviser or planner to interact with all product providers on their behalf, even cash savings providers, making the relationship between the advice firm and the product provider even more important.

As part of NS&I’s ongoing commitment to help advice firms provide an efficient onward service to their clients, and reduce time and hassle, NS&I has introduced several significant service enhancements over the last couple of years:

  • A refreshed Letter of Authority template, which once submitted will be held on file, removing the need to complete a new one every time
  • A Terms of Business Agreement for firms to complete in order to protect all parties including clients
  • An enhanced Adviser Helpline service, enabling information on clients’ holdings to be accessed over the phone
  • A dedicated online service for advice firms, giving digital access to clients’ NS&I holdings for the first time…

NS&I’s dedicated online service means that advisers and their colleagues can now get easier online access to more information, including their clients’ Premium Bonds prize history, which helps in calculating the return being achieved from a client’s Premium Bonds. This is in addition to information such as valuations, transaction history, maturity dates and copies of correspondence sent to their client. These service enhancements now make it easier for advice firms to better incorporate the cash element into the building blocks of their client’s financial plan.

When you think that most advice firms will have clients with NS&I holdings, the benefits of the new online service to advisers, paraplanners and other staff become very clear.

Phil Billingham, Chartered Financial Planner at Perceptive Financial Planning has clearly been impressed with NS&I’s new online access to tools commenting: “The online service has made it much easier to manage our clients’ NS&I investments, saving us both time and hassle, and giving us the full online view of their holdings for the first time. NS&I has created a useful tool that says a lot about their commitment to building a strong relationship with advisers.”

See for yourself

With more clients investing with NS&I than ever before, isn’t it time you joined the 900 other advice firms who have already registered for this service?

If your firm has not registered for this service already, visit NS&I’s website at nsandi-adviser.com today and find out how to start your journey to faster and easier access to your clients’ information.

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​IFA Magazine – for today’s discerning financial and investment professional.

Published ten times a year, IFA Magazine has been winning a keen and enthusiastic following among Britain’s premier financial advisers, planners and paraplanners.


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