Premium bonds withdrawn from post offices

Premium bonds will no longer be available to purchase from post offices from 1st August.

The National Savings & Investments Agency (NS&I) has drawn criticism from retailers for the decision.

NFRN National President Ralph Patel said: “This move is a huge body blow to struggling subpostmasters. In one breath NS&I claim that the decision has been taken because most customers purchase premium bonds online but then it says that one in five sales last year were over the counter.

“It looks to me as if the government is doing all it can to remove every service that give customers a reason for visiting a sub post office.”

Subpostmaster and NFRN official, David Woodrow of Bishopton in Renfrewshire added: “Just how valid is the government promise to put business to the post office when it allows this loss of contract? The sale of premium bonds is part of the current subpostmaster’s contract when signing up to become a Local, Local Plus or Main post office.

“Now that that revenue stream is lost, would it not be appropriate that other opportunities, which are currently not allowed, like Hermes, are introduced  or that an automatic waiver is given so subpostmasters can recoup the money they would have earned from selling premium bonds.”

The Scottish Grocers’ Federation has also strongly condemned the decision, which comes as the Post Office are midway through their Network Transformation Programme. A spokesperson said: “One would have thought that they would have been encouraging commission based schemes and not taking them away.”

Pete Cheema, SGF CEO, said the move was another nail in the coffin for subpostmasters. He concluded: “This is another huge setback for the Sub-Postmasters as another revenue stream is lost.”