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U.S. Investors Embrace Paperless Bonds at Growing Rate TreasuryDirect Passes 100,000 Account Mark

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 10, 2003

The Treasury's Bureau of the Public Debt said today that investors opened more than 100,000 accounts in its TreasuryDirect Internet-based service (www.treasurydirect.gov) where consumers buy U.S. Savings Bonds and manage their holdings in an electronic, paperless environment. TreasuryDirect went online in October of last year. At the end of October 2003, more than 100,000 accounts had been established, holding about $700 million worth of electronic securities. By comparison, online credit card purchases of paper savings bonds over the Internet at Public Debt's Savings Bonds Direct website only totaled $115 million in their first year.

"Investors are embracing the electronic approach to savings bonds in steadily-growing numbers, and discovering how easy and convenient it is to open an account," said Paul Vogelzang, Executive Director, Investor Education and Communications, of Treasury's Bureau of the Public Debt. "From start to finish, the secure application process takes less than 10 minutes, and once completed and an account is open, consumers don't have to handle or keep track of paper bonds or other paperwork."

"We understood that after decades of buying a paper savings bond, people were going to take some time to change old habits," Vogelzang said, "But acceptance of the electronic system has been steadily growing, with more than 7,000 new accounts opened in the most recent week, compared to a rate of less than 5,000 a week just a few months ago."

Using the TreasuryDirect website, consumers can establish a secure account with the U.S. Treasury, purchasing and redeeming Series EE and Series I bonds and managing their savings portfolio online 24 hour a day, 7 days a week. Public Debt also offers Internet-based services for marketable securities.

The TreasuryDirect website is being developed as both a secure means for financial transactions and an educational site where consumers and investment professionals alike can safely and conveniently buy and manage their portfolios of government securities.

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