So, after half a century, it's farewell to Bonus Bonds. They were probably not a good little earner for either bank or investor so on to the scrapheap they go.
I don't know about you but I will probably miss the occasional $20 or $40 "windfall". The scheme may not have been lucrative or even sensible but it was easy and, in a way, homely. It was a sort of financial tea cosy.
Now, we have to decide what to do with our bonds. If we just leave them to rest where they are we are taking a bit of a gamble. After a year of being "frozen" they will be returned, either plus a little or minus a little depending on how things "pan out" (not a real example of financial jargon).
Making a decision will be a little harder for many bondholders because they are currently deceased. Remember, it has been 50 years and, from memory, the bank used to have little Morris Minor vans with Bonus Bonds painted across them.
I'm still deciding where to transfer my funds to but I can tell you what I definitely don't want. Call me misguided – even pig-headed – if you wish but I don't want visits from suit-wearing people offering me "managed portfolios". No thank you. I'll tough this out myself.
Sticking it under the mattress isn't out of the question.
It seems that many bondholders knew straightaway that they wanted to withdraw their accumulated funds after the closure announcement was made. Too many tried all at once so that the website crashed.
How banking has changed! You used to have to visit a physical branch in person and, if the pen was working, fill out a deposit or withdrawal form and then stand in a queue. Staff included tellers, accountants, typists, a manager, a security clerk, a bill clerk, a junior, a general hand, a ledger machinist, a ledger examiner, a statement machinist and several ball boys.
These days, it seems, they won't even let you in. But I think the pens have improved.
And don't even think about phoning them even though your call is important to them.
Nowadays, you need to go online and enter a password and a pin number to be told that "this service is currently unavailable".
To assist you from time to time, random people with foreign accents will phone you and guide you through the process of giving them your password and pin number so that they too can learn that "this service is currently unavailable". These people are dangerous and should not even be offered Bonus Bonds.
So, what were your chances of a decent win, anyway? According to one source, the chances of scooping the big one ($1 million) were one in 3,400,000 if you held $1000 worth of bonds. Add three zeroes to that figure if you held only one bond.
The same source said that chances for a $1000 bondholder of winning $20 were one in 29 or, to put another spin on it, 99.996 per cent of bonus bonds return $0 to their owners.
Transferring your funds to a savings account won't help you much with current interest rates sitting under 1 per cent (plus a cup of tea and a plain biscuit for loyal customers). Not terribly encouraging, even if they upped the offering to a fancier sort of biscuit.
American performer Will Rogers once made another suggestion: "The quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back in your pocket."
So, the closest you'll probably get to a financial tea cosy is the under-the-mattress option. If you still get foreign voices phoning, whatever you do, don't tell them which mattress.
Wyn Drabble is a teacher of English, a writer, musician and public speaker.