Page last updated at 16:55 GMT, Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Worried savers seeking wise words

By Ian Pollock
Personal finance reporter, BBC News, Trafford Centre, Manchester

Financial advice from the roadshow

Worries about protecting savings and recouping financial losses have dominated the BBC's Money Matters Roadshow in Manchester's Trafford Centre.

Almost 30 experts - on subjects from debt and pensions to student finance and mortgages - have been offering help and advice to hundreds of people looking for guidance.

Those looking to tap into advice on the best way to deal with redundancy and impending retirement have not been in short supply.

And the first person seeking advice arrived almost half an hour before the shopping centre had even opened its doors - armed with a tricky question on mortgages.

But with stock market turmoil and shrinking interest rates, it is perhaps little wonder that investment worries were topping the agenda among the building queues, keeping savings advisors on their toes.

Safety first

Jack Chadwick, from Worsley near Manchester was seeking advice on where to keep his 20,000 of investments safe.

"My wife and I had 28,000 in our two stocks and shares ISAs, and it has lost quite a lot of money over the last few months," Mr Chadwick said.

"We had a quarterly income from that and want to find somewhere safe, not really for growth, just to make sure it doesn't go further down."

Peter Smith

They offer you a cappuccino when they want your business but they didn't tell me anything when the rate was cut.

Peter Smith, Salford

Meanwhile David Hogg from Davyhulme is another victim of the banking crisis, and was upset that his shares and savings have plummeted in value.

Shares held in HBOS which sank in value before the takeover by Lloyds TSB, and money he had put into various savings and investment accounts, including Isas, have also suffered from falling interest rates.

"I've lost 10,000 since October and I want some advice about where to invest my money," he said.


Peter Smith from Salford wanted to find a better home for 80,000 of savings.

He was not happy that the bank account holding his money had suffered a cut in interest from 3% to 1.25%, and felt he had been given poor service.

"They offer you a cappuccino when they want your business but they didn't tell me anything when the rate was cut.

"They didn't inform me of this, there was never anything on the paperwork they send you.

Money Matters Roadshow
Participants: Almost 30 money experts plus some of the BBC's top financial journalists
Theme: Helping you with your money issues from savings and mortgages to pensions and student finance
Venue: Trafford Centre, Manchester - Wednesday 18 February 8am-6pm
Coverage: BBC One Breakfast, News Channel, Radio Five Live, Working Lunch and Radio 4's You & Yours and Moneybox Live plus Radio Manchester and North West Tonight.

"I pay 190 a year for a personal manager - my beef is that as soon as they get your money in the account that's the last you hear from them."

Meanwhile Phyllis Derbyshire came for advice about whether or not she should put money in a six-year savings bond.

She wanted to put 20,000 in it but had serious reservations.

"It's the news about the banks, I just want to make sure the bank - Lloyds TSB Scottish Widows - is the best place," she said.

And Eric Greenwood, from Stockport wanted to know if a specific investment was covered by the Government Financial Services Compensation.

"I've tried to find out but but I haven't found the information readily available," he said.

'Not happy'

Richard Barker from Urmston, a regular viewer of the BBC Working Lunch programme, was seeking general advice about Isas and how his father could put some money aside for his grandson.

Meanwhile Keith Sandle from Stockport, who is retired, but also still working, wanted general tax and savings advice as well as help with transferring money between Isas.

And he said he was pleased to get access to some money guidance.

"I've been to financial advisers but I'm not happy about them. They tend to push certain things rather than others. I've been to advisers who charge a fee, which is the best way of doing it, but they don't follow up their advice - there's no after-care."

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