‘I need to pay for cancer treatment but NS&I is ignoring my pleas to cash in my Premium Bonds’

Dear JP,

Premium Bonds are a popular home for savings not just because of the chance of winning a prize (however slim) but because they are backed by the Treasury, keep their face value and can be sold quickly – within eight business days supposedly.

I have always kept some because I like to know I can withdraw money speedily and without financial penalty in an emergency. But the fallout from a customer services meltdown at NS&I last year is still being felt and sadly you are a victim of it.

The trouble began last summer, when NS&I was offering attractive rates on its accounts and demand soared. But then it announced a sharp cut in rates would be applied in November. Customers rushed for the exit, and NS&I customer services struggled to cope. This should not still be happening.

I asked NS&I to hurry things along. This did the trick and a couple of days later the cash was in your bank account in the Isle of Man. You say you are delighted that you can now settle your medical bills. I wish you all the best for the future.