NS&I admits problems and plans to woo advisers

Last year, NS&I was tasked with cutting down costs by a quarter by 2020, and has a net financing target of £6bn for the 2016 to 2017 financial year. Mr Pike said the organisation was currently in line to meet this year’s target.

According to its annual results for the 2015 to 2016 tax year, NS&I delivered £11.3bn of net financing, meeting its target of £10bn in a range of £8bn to £12bn.

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Beyond the financials, Jane Platt, chief executive of NS&I, said the results of a customer satisfaction survey showed “there is still room for improvement”.

Ms Platt, who is stepping down from her role next month (August), said NS&I is determined to meet customers’ rising expectations.

Dan Elkington, independent financial adviser at Chattertons Solicitors, said dealing with NS&I has been difficult, pointing out NS&I does not currently accept an IFA as being able to certify copies of documents in cases of power of attorney or deputyship orders.

“They are far too rigid when it comes to processing applications, and I’ve never rung their call centre and received a helpful response,” Mr Elkington said, adding an adviser helpline and online portal would be a good first step forward.

Tony Catt, compliance officer at Anthony Catt Limited, said he main barrier to advisers for recommending NS&I products has been the lack of commission or the facility for adviser fee payment.

“At the moment, any recommendations make no money for advisers unless the clients are paying them fees directly. If NS&I addressed this issue, I think it would be pleasantly surprised at how many more advisers engage with them.”