I will be 90 years old this year. My late husband and I have lived in Guernsey for over 40 years, and both worked for the States of Guernsey. Our children and grandchildren have been brought up here, and Guernsey is our home.
Like so many other depositors in Landsbanki Guernsey, I'm a very ordinary citizen. I have worked hard all my life, declared my earnings from several different jobs and paid my income tax. I have lived simply. There was no welfare state in Jersey when I was young and growing up during the years of German Occupation taught me everything I needed to know about managing with very little and never wasting what you have.
As a 61 year old British woman, I grew up with the ethos of saving passed to me by Scottish parents who lived through WW1 and WW2, as well as the depressions of 1918 and 1929. My mistake was trying to maximize my income with bonds staggered over several years and choosing Guernsey, instead of the stock market.
My Mum has lost nearly all Dad's life savings - by not spending it and hanging on to it in case of any sort of emergency. When Dad died, he died knowing that he had left enough money to see Mum through the rest of her life. He also left her 1,000 Northern Rock shares which were worth about £15,000 when he died. As you know, they became worthless last year.
I was born in the UK. When the UK building society found I was no longer a UK resident, I was forced to withdraw my savings. (I had earnt this money whilst a UK resident and was paying tax on the interest to the UK government). As I thought I might one day return to my homeland, I wanted to keep these savings in sterling. The only option I could see was to place these funds offshore. And that is how the UK law and government helped me lose my savings in this crisis.
I'm 54 and Disabled. Two years ago, after careful consideration, I sold my flat in Bristol, and deposited most of the money in Landsbanki Guernsey, (On the advice of a friend), so that my partner and I would have some money to fall back on, and do a bit of travelling, which we both love. We rented a small flat in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, where I grew up. This doesn't give us any security, but a nicer environment in which to live.
I am a retired civil servant. I moved to Malta on health grounds. Icesave told me I had to move my savings. So I did! I am devastated by the loss. Like many of us I am not rich. I have always paid all my taxes. Like all retired civil servants, no matter where in the world we live, my civil service pension is taxed at source in the UK. The future at the moment is indeed bleak!
Some news reports make international depositors sound solely like tax evaders. In our case it is because of a long Guernsey history. My grandparents were Guernsey folk who remained in Guernsey throughout the war. The money in the account represented inheritance from my grandfather, who started work at age 12 and went on to be a Guernsey store owner, tomato grower and businessman.
My husband is the son of a Guernsey native. The money he placed in Landsbanki was earned, and fully taxed, in Guernsey. It was his inheritance. We would have used it for our daughter's education.
I am a very proud British citizen, and since I was 15 years old have worked legitimately starting as a “Hammer Boy” in a foundry on a salary of £4-11s-11d, and although then could not save a penny because I gave it ALL to my mother after tax & NHS contributions for my first year. Since then I have continued my working career almost non stop for nearly 40 years, working 60-84 hours a week for most of them to save & care for my family.