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Electronic Series I Savings Bond Now Available

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 15, 2002

The Bureau of the Public Debt today launched an electronic version of the inflation-indexed Series I Savings Bond as part of a new system, TreasuryDirect, designed to offer investors a one-stop web location for buying and managing holdings of Treasury securities. The electronic I Bond marks the first time a savings bond has been offered to the public in paperless form, online, at www.treasurydirect.gov.

The electronic I Bond supplements the traditional ways the public buys and redeems savings bonds. TreasuryDirect, for the first time, will allow I Bond purchasers to buy in increments of as little as a penny above the minimum purchase price of $25, up to the annual purchase limit of $30,000. The Series I Savings Bond earns a real rate of return above inflation for as long as 30 years.

“This new way of buying, managing, and redeeming I Bonds is the first step in a larger initiative, TreasuryDirect, which creates a direct relationship between the U.S. Treasury and its customers,” said Van Zeck, Commissioner of the Public Debt. “We are making it easier than ever for individuals to purchase and manage their I Bonds in an online account with the Treasury. We also plan to make the full range of Treasury securities available online through TreasuryDirect, resulting in cost savings to taxpayers through improved efficiencies and lower transaction costs.”

The new TreasuryDirect.gov website is a customer-focused and intuitive interactive tool. It provides investors with a safe and convenient way to learn about, buy, and manage their Treasury securities in a single account. Payments for purchases and redemptions are made by electronic funds transfers through customer- designated accounts at their financial institutions.

TreasuryDirect.gov will be expanded early next year to include additional information and options. Customers will continue to have easy access to the existing services used to purchase other Treasury securities including Treasury bills and notes.

Savings bonds remain available over-the-counter through financial institutions, through payroll savings programs offered by employers, and online through Savings Bonds Direct. Redemptions of paper savings bonds are handled by most commercial banks and thrift institutions.

The Bureau of the Public Debt will launch a comprehensive education campaign next year to inform the public about TreasuryDirect as a safe and secure way to buy and manage Treasury securities in a paper-free environment.