Skip to main content

Post Office Savings Bank Depositors— Investment In Consols

Volume 180: debated on Wednesday 14 August 1907

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been called to the case of a Welsh quarryman whose savings in the Post Office Savings Bank, having reached the maximum sum allowed to be deposited, were from time to time, upon the advice of the postmaster invested in the purchase of Consols, and to the fact that in this way a sum of £500 was so invested at prices considerably over par, and that the quarryman in question, having now an opportunity of purchasing his home, finds that such Consols, if now sold, would realise only about £400; and whether he will arrange with the Postmaster-General that instructions shall be issued to local postmasters to the effect that, when advising depositors to invest their savings in Consols, they shall be informed of the risk of fluctuations in the market price of the same, and that there is no guarantee that, when wishing to realise, they will be be able to obtain a price equivalent to their investments.

No, Sir. My attention has not been called to the case referred to; but the official notices relating to the purchases of Government Stock through the Post Office Savings Bank clearly state that the Postmaster-General cannot take the responsibility of advising depositors with reference to their transactions or for any loss which may result from a fall in the price of the Stock between the dates of purchase and sale. If any postmaster has advised individual depositors otherwise, he has clearly been guilty of a breach of duty, of which due note will be taken, if the allegation is substantiated.