Business & Investment

NS & I boss apologizes to Saver for customer service meltdown

NS & I bosses apologize to savers for poor customer service, but warn them to expect long waits until spring

  • In a letter to MP, Ian Akali defended NS & I and its performance last year.
  • He defended the decision to maintain the savings rate in November and then reduce it.
  • A flood of £ 69.4 billion from savers between April and December, new figures show

The CEO of the National Savings and Investments Agency apologized to the savers for the customer service problems they faced, but defended the brutal reduction in savings rates and the decision to stop sending premium bond checks.

In a letter to a member of the Treasury Special Committee, Ian Akarley said, “To provide high-quality services that customers are accustomed to, a year after a 43% increase in complaints about Treasury-backed banks. Decided to return NS & I. ” In half a year until the end of September last year.

He said the bank hired more customer service staff and opened four new call centers thanks to a £ 17m cash injection from the Treasury.

However, he warned that waiting time on the phone could increase in the first two months of the year as it is expected to remain “very busy”.

Complaints about NS & I increased 43% year-on-year in the six months to September.

Waiting times were reduced from an average of 20 minutes in October and 19 minutes in November, when savings reductions were introduced, to 5 minutes and 41 seconds last month.

Ackerley also criticized the decision to cancel the savings rate cut in early March and the announcement that premium bondholders would need to provide bank details before announcing something more brutal in September. Receive prizes in the form of posted warrants aimed at protecting the bank from.

Since then, this has been postponed until spring to ease pressure on the bank’s poor customer service staff.

The bank’s chief executive officer said of the increase in complaints: ‘The combination of factors has affected our customer service operations, which have stressed some customers and staff. We didn’t intend this to happen, but we don’t believe the situation could have been predicted.

He blamed the decision to phase out premium bond prize checks for NS & I customer growth, coronavirus pandemics, interest rate cuts, waiting times spikes and complaints.

He also defended the initial decision to stop sending warrants by mail, despite customer turmoil, saying that paying prizes by bank transfer would be faster and safer.

He said about 84% of the prize money was paid by bank transfer in a recent lottery.

NS & I boss Ian Akarley defended the criticized decision, including stopping mailing premium bond prizes.That decision was subsequently postponed

NS & I boss Ian Akarley defended the criticized decision, including stopping mailing premium bond prizes.That decision was subsequently postponed

Ackerley, who has been running NS & I since 2017, said of the decision to maintain floating rates before lowering them to 0.01% in November: Against competitors.

“These reductions are necessary to avoid overburdening taxpayers and disrupting the ability of banks and building-and-loan associations to collect deposits from savers and fund lending activities.

“When NS & I proposed in March 2020 to cancel the interest rate cut for floating rate products scheduled for May 1, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on our business was unclear.

MP Chairman Mel Stride of the Treasury Special Committee said NS & I must

MP Chairman Mel Stride of the Treasury Special Committee said NS & I must “work hard” to regain customers after last year’s blunder.

“It was also unknown at this time that a pandemic would lead to significant growth in the overall savings market.”

The figures provided in the letter to Chairman Mel Stride revealed that £ 69.4 billion was poured into NS & I between April and December 2020. That’s more than 2.5 times the amount invested in the same period in 2019.

Meanwhile, after the NS & I cut, £ 26.5 billion was withdrawn between October and December, with a net loss of £ 9.5 billion.

£ 69.4bn was invested in NS & I between April and December, withdrawing £ 26.5bn in the last three months of the year after a significant rate cut was announced.

£ 69.4bn was invested in NS & I between April and December, withdrawing £ 26.5bn in the last three months of the year after a significant rate cut was announced.

In response to the 10-page letter, Mel Stride said: The outflow of the Savings Investment Organization from NS & I, which cut interest rates in November, was foreseeable, and it’s a shame that the average time to answer customer calls was 19 minutes that month.

“I would like to thank Mr. Ackerley for his candid response, but I am worried about the potential damage to NS & I’s reputation in the last few months.

“NS & I is playing a major role in helping the government cover the costs of its coronavirus recovery program and needs to work hard to get its customers back.”

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NS & I boss apologizes to Saver for customer service meltdown

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/saving/article-9172037/NS-boss-apologises-savers-customer-service-meltdown.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 NS & I boss apologizes to Saver for customer service meltdown

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