Slugger O'Toole

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Working group to look into issue of PMS investors

Thu 18 June 2009, 2:14am

A Press Association report notes the comments by the Northern Ireland First and deputy First Ministers, on the setting up of a working group to look at the issue of the supernatural savers investors in the Presbyterian Mutual Society, following a meeting with the Prime Minister. No comment yet from the NI Secretary of State.. But, according to the BBC, Presbyterian Moderator Dr Stafford Carson said he appreciated “the efforts of all involved to bring this about.” From the PA report

Speaking after the talks, Mr Robinson said the establishment of the group was “as much as we would have hoped we could have succeeded in getting today”. He said: “It indicates an engagement by the Prime Minister. It indicates there is a will to assist the savers in PMS and we will be looking at a period of probably three months where we will attempt to find a way forward.”

Mr McGuinness said he was “very encouraged” by the proposal. “Even though they believe that there isn’t a legal responsibility on the government, I think he recognises that many, many people have put their life savings in the PMS and found themselves victims of circumstances way beyond their control,” he said.

Also from the BBC report

Earlier on Wednesday a progress report from PMS administrator Arthur Boyd and Co indicated two parties were interested in a buy-out.

Neither was named in the report. However, previously the Ulster Bank has been linked to a possible purchase.

A report on the conduct of the society’s directors is understood to be close to completion.

It should be sent to the Department of Enterprise within the coming weeks.

Also on Wednesday, Arthur Boyd and Co revealed that the value of the society’s property portfolio has slipped to £89m – 32% less than the original purchase price.

The administrator’s report is available here [pdf file].

And the working group, according to the PA report

Now Mr Brown has asked Northern Ireland Secretary Shaun Woodward to set up a group including representatives of his own department, Number 10, the Treasury, the Northern Ireland administration and eventually the FSA to look into the problem over the coming weeks.

Why not let the administrator get on with it?

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Comments (6)

  1. Nevin (profile) says:

    “the supernatural savers investors”

    Do you mean their money was ‘spirited’ away, Pete? ;)

    They haven’t got horns you know; they’re just stuck on the horns of a dilemma.

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  2. Pigeon Toes says:

    “However, previously the Ulster Bank has been linked to a possible purchase”

    Which is owned by the RBS… Hmm

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  3. Nevin (profile) says:

    “Why not let the administrator get on with it?”

    “In summary the Administrator and his staff have spent 1720.9 hours totalling £205,103.65, at an average chargeout rate of approximately £119.19 per hour from 17th November 2008 to 16th May 2009.”

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  4. Pete Baker (profile) says:

    Nevin

    As I’ve said previously,

    Just read it as investors in the supernatural.

    As for the already accrued costs of the adminstrator.

    That’s already accrued.

    And they seem to have produced potential buyers for the Society’s assets.

    Unless you think the involvement of civil servants in this would improve the situation for either investors or the tax-payer?

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  5. Nevin (profile) says:

    “Just read it as investors in the supernatural.”

    Why? The report lists the allocation of the investments – and there’s no mention of the supernatural, contemptuously or otherwise :)

    £120 per hour. Not a bad little earner …

    As a tax-payer, I had no say in the allocation of funds to other financial institutions so I doubt if I’ll have any say in this.

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  6. joeCanuck says:

    Wait a minute! My investments have lost a lot of my money too. Is someone going to bail me out or do I have to convert to Presbyterianism first?

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