Stockbrokers in Fall-Out Nightmare; Brokers Have Been Deluged by Calls from Frantic Investors, as Alistair Houghton Reports in ASSOCIATIONS WITH Rensburg Sheppards Investment Management

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Byline: Alistair Houghton

S TOCKBROKERS around Liverpool spent a large part of yesterday handling the fall-out of Monday night's huge stock market falls on Wall Street.

Brokers and investment managers were forced to field calls from worried investors as the turbulence in the world's financial markets reverberated around the world.

Andrew Morris, the director responsible Rathbones' investment management business in Liverpool, said the number of calls his office received had grown in the last month as private investors sought assurance.

September saw many events that stunned the markets from the nationalisation of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in the US through to the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the rescue of US insurer AIG to the nationalisation of Bradford & Bingley. Mr Morris said: "It's probably the most traumatic month in investment markets in my working life, and I've been working for Rathbones for 22 years.

"We are getting a lot more calls, primarily inquiring about the solidity of some of our financial institutions and banks.

"Our clients, who may have large cash deposits, have expressed concerns about a number of financial institutions. We've fielded a lot more calls regarding that than the state of the market, which is highly publicised in the media every waking hour."

Mr Morris said some clients had also started sending cash to Rathbones to manage, rather than keeping it in banks.

Andrew Ramsbottom, fund manager at Royal Liver Building-based Tilney Investment Management, said the Tilney team was staying in close contact with its clients as the market volatility continued.

H E SAID: "We had a nearly 5% swing in the markets yesterday from when it opened to when it closed, but we're getting used to it. It reflects the fact that nobody knows where we will go from here.

"In the last week, we've seen a lot of investors who are lucky enough to have more than pounds 35,000 on deposit in any one bank slicing it up into tranches of pounds 35,000 and distributing it around. …