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I fear for the safety of my investments after NS&I blunder

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When attempting to sign into the National Savings and Investments website, I received an error message instructing me to speak to my attorney.

It turned out my record indicated I had granted power of attorney to another person. I certainly had not, and NS&I call handlers admit they have no evidence. I was variously told “human error, or a technical problem” must be to blame.

However, it greatly concerns me that an error such as this could pass control of my investments to an unknown third party, and that a call handler was able to arrange for the “block”, preventing me accessing my account, to be removed whilst I was on the phone. This implies a lack of checks and balances.

I now don’t have 100% confidence that my investments are safe.

SH, Devon

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This is a thoroughly alarming blunder which, for a while, appeared to have given a stranger access to your account.

Luckily that turns out not to be the case. NS&I’s investigation has since established that following a systems update an incorrect marker was tagged on the account which suggested that you had a power of attorney.

However, no third party was ever connected to the account, and no fraudulent activity took place. You have now received an official apology and £75 in goodwill.

A spokesperson for NS&I said: ‘We monitor the performance of our staff to ensure that their work is of a high and accurate standard and take appropriate action if these standards are not met.’

This article was amended on 16 September 2021. An earlier version included an initial response from NS&I, but not the result of its investigation. However, this result was provided by NS&I prior to publication, and should have been included. This has now been done.

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