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TreasuryDirect Account Holders Can Convert Paper Savings Bonds to Electronic Securities Using SmartExchange

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 22, 2005

U. S. Savings Bonds owners with TreasuryDirect electronic accounts will now have the option of converting any paper Series E, Series EE, and Series I bonds they hold to equivalent electronic securities through the Bureau of the Public Debt's SmartExchange program. Individual owners of TreasuryDirect accounts are beginning to receive invitations to trade in their paper E, EE, or I bonds for conversion to electronic securities. SmartExchange is initially operating on an invitation-only basis to ensure that the conversion process is completed in as timely a fashion possible.

According to Van Zeck, Commissioner of the Public Debt, “Exchanging paper for electronic securities marks another step in moving savings bonds from a paper-based, labor-intensive program to an all-electronic product. Bond owners who take advantage of SmartExchange may have all their savings securities, whether originally bought in paper or electronic form, in a single account that can be accessed at any time, day or night.”

Owners of paper savings bonds will not be required to trade in their securities, but may choose to do so once they have opened a TreasuryDirect account and have received an invitation to submit bonds for conversion. Accounts may be opened online by going to Public Debt's website, www.treasurydirect.gov. Account holders may buy and redeem electronic Series EE and I bonds using TreasuryDirect, as well as manage their holdings – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – over the Internet. Later this year, Public Debt plans to begin offering marketable bills, notes, and TIPS through TreasuryDirect, providing account holders the flexibility to directly hold and manage a wide range of Treasury securities in a TreasuryDirect account.

Public Debt is initially inviting a limited number of current TreasuryDirect account holders to exchange their paper for electronic securities. To ensure that customers are not without access to their bonds for an extended period of time, Public Debt will extend additional invitations to account holders at a pace that supports timely processing. There are more than 300,000 current TreasuryDirect accounts with approximately 2,500 new accounts being opened weekly.

For more information on conversions, visit our frequently asked questions page.