Perm Sec Round-Up: Jane Platt, 2014

Written by Civil Service World on 1 January 2015 in Feature

Jane Platt

Chief Executive of National Savings & Investments

How did you tackle the biggest challenges facing your organisation in 2014?

NS&I faced two main challenges in 2014.First: to implement the new outsourcing contract with our operational partner, Atos. This will take our customer service to another level, and reduce our cost base significantly. There are important provisions in the contract that reflect wider public sector priorities, such as supporting the government’s digital agenda by growing our direct channels. Over the course of the next seven years, NS&I will increase the proportion of customer interactions conducted via digital channels to more than 80%, delivering savings to the taxpayer of more than £400m.

Second: to maintain NS&I’s high standards of customer service in meeting increased demand for Premium Bonds, after the maximum investment limit was raised from £30,000 to £40,000 in June. Following the Budget announcement of the measure, NS&I and Atos had a very short period to gear up for the volumes. I am pleased to say that it all went very smoothly, with key performance indicators consistently maintained above 95%.

What are your department’s top priorities in the last months before the general election?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in the 2014 Budget that NS&I will be launching a choice of highly competitive fixed-rate savings bonds for people aged 65 or over in January 2015. Up to £10bn of these bonds will be available, so we are working hard to ensure everything is in place for a smooth launch next year. People can already register for email updates about the bonds, and we will have a new marketing website, online banking facilities and customer service Twitter feed in place to assist customers. The media is already very interested in the launch, so you can expect to see a lot about it over the next few months.

Another priority for NS&I is to continue to grow our government-to-government activities, where other parts of government can share our infrastructure and benefit from the cost advantages. We are already working with the Court Funds Office, the Treasury and the Home Office in this way through our Government Payment Services. 

What’s your favourite Christmas treat? 

Watching White Christmas with the family – you just can’t beat a good dose of Bing Crosby on a wet winter afternoon.

And what makes you say: ‘Bah, humbug!’?

Getting the first Christmas present catalogue email in August.

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