My grandson lives abroad and wants to cash in his Premium Bonds: Does he need to provide an adult signature and have a UK bank account to do so?
My grandson, 19, was bought £10,000 worth of Premium Bonds when he was a child, and until 2018 any prizes were reinvested automatically.
Because he now lives abroad these were managed for him by his other grandparents (who live in the UK) but they are now quite elderly and it’s not ideal.
Since he was 16, prize money has been sent as cheques to their address, but they cannot be cashed because he does not have a bank account in the UK and he is not allowed to open one.
He now has £325 in prize money owing to him, and in addition he wants to cash in his bonds as he will be starting university in Australia.
Bond headache: How can our grandson, who lives overseas, cash in his Premium Bond prizes?
Because NS&I do not have his adult signature, and because he does not have a UK bank account, he cannot find out how to do this.
Phone calls and messages to NS&I are not answered and we are completely stumped on how he can access his funds.
Because of pandemic rules and limits on travelling he has not been able to visit the UK in order to try and sort this out himself, and there is no prospect of him doing so before he starts university, when he will be even further away from the UK.
Are you able to advise how we might help him do this, or what he can do himself? Via email)
How can their grandson take ownership of the account?
When setting up an account for a child under the age of 16, NS&I requires what it refers to as a ‘responsible person’ to manage the account – usually a child’s parent or guardian.
When the child turns 16, they become responsible for their own account and NS&I will write to them to explain how they can take ownership of it around the time of their sixteenth birthday.
Your grandson should be able to take ownership of his account by downloading and returning this form by post to NS&I, Sunderland SR43 2SB, even from overseas.
Your grandson would need to sign this form, so NS&I would then have a signature on file.
Can he cash in his Premium bonds via a non-UK bank account?
Once registered for NS&I’s online and telephone services via the above form, your grandson should be able to cash in his Premium Bonds.
Ordinarily, customers can receive money from their Premium Bonds account, as well as other NS&I accounts, directly into their UK bank or building society account.
In instances where this is not practical or possible, NS&I’s only other alternative is to send the funds via cheque.
Cheques can be cashed into a non-UK bank account, but charges may apply.
Once registered for NS&I’s online and telephone services, your grandson should contact NS&I to discuss his options, which might include NS&I sending a one-off closure payment for the account, which also includes the outstanding prizes.
As your grandson does not have a UK bank account, this may have to be issued via cheque.
How can he contact NS&I from overseas?
It sounds like you’ve already faced a bit of a nightmare trying to contact NS&I about the issue.
NS&I say that without knowing the specific circumstances, they cannot say why this is the case but are adamant they can help overseas customers.
Customers based overseas can use NS&I’s web chat service for generic, non-account specific enquiries, or they can call NS&I on +44 1772 329880.