“We are fully aware of the urgency of this matter…”

The BBC reports on a meeting today chaired by Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Owen Paterson, and attended by NI First and Deputy First Ministers Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness, Finance Minister Sammy Wilson, Northern Ireland Minister Hugo Swire and Mark Hoban, financial secretary to the Treasury.

The topic?  The troubled Presbyterian Mutual Society.

From the NI Secretary of State’s statement

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Paterson said: “Both before and since the General Election, the Prime Minister and I have been firm in our commitment to finding a fair and just resolution to this crisis.

“We are fully aware of the urgency of this matter.

“The meeting confirms the will which exists both in Government and in the Northern Ireland Executive to work together in seeking a solution.

“There is no easy answer, but I am keen to consider all available options to ensure PMS members are treated fairly.

“We have identified several courses of action which will be pursued with urgency over the summer, and we are all clear that it will be important for PMS members that we reach a conclusion as quickly as possible after that.

“We will meet again at the beginning of September”.

Of course, he means shareholders, not members creditors.  But does this mean they’ve rejected the package of measures OFMDFM-proposed in April, which they announced just before that potentially troublesome election…

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  • I met with representatives of a disadvantaged (but rich in Spirit) inner city congregation yesterday to review their options as the hope and pray they will recover their money. It is intolerable that it is taking so long to resolve this matter.

  • PMS Saver

    PMS gambling debts, where are they? Is every house owner in the country with negative equity a reckless gambler? Thieving? What individual or group of individuals has been accused, charged and convicted of theft? amanfromMars back up your claims with facts. You will be aware that not one assett of PMS has been sold and yet PMS has generated £35 million pounds in administration. Speak the truth.

  • “Speak the truth.” …. PMS Saver says: 22 July 2010 at 10:54 am

    I do, PMS Saver, and it appears to have been confiscated from this thread ….. and it was only asking questions.

    And with regard to ….”What individual or group of individuals has been accused, charged and convicted of theft? ” Quite so, which is rather pathetic, isn’t it.

    What are gurning about for if it is not “theft” and you have just lost your investment on a bad decision you have taken, or allowed other to take for you, what is all the crying about. Horses fall at fences every day but one does expect the public purse to reimburse the “investment”.

  • Oops, sorry, that should of course read, … but one doesn’t expect the public purse to reimburse the “investment”.

  • Neil

    Have to agree amanfromMars, when the average house price in this part of the world was heading for 10 times the average wage, no-one was gurning much about the young people who would never at that rate have been able to afford a home. Those people who could invested in multiple properties and lived a good lifestyle while others payed their landlord and got by. Then the crash and those people who over invested have to be protected, the price of their home can’t be allowed to drop and still those on < 20k a year (the majority of the population) now need about 2 years wages to buy a home and sterling credit to go with it.

    With the PMS it's interesting that the DUP and UUP could mangle together an agreement to ensure that those who need it least get paid first and foremost. Well they’re the ones that can afford to donate a few quid to the parties so best that the Conservative Unionist Parties look after their own – i.e. rich people. Those who saved a couple of grand for a holiday or a suite of furniture and can’t afford to lose it, well they’re not the great and the good so they can be sorted sometime in the future.

    In truth the approach should have been the opposite, sorting out the people who had least saved and those with more than 20k in the ‘not actually a bank but illegally operating as a bank’ should have had their fingers burnt by a percentage, instead of every working individual in the UK footing the bill for a small, wealthy section of one sect of Protestantism in NI.

  • venus

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion regarding the PMS fiasco.

    It seems as if the 10500 people who put their money into the PMS did so in the belief that it was savings – it said “savings” in the brochure. It also said that it would not SPECULATE with the savings. There was no risk warning like you would normally get with risky investments. Why was there no risk warning? Who was regulating this Society? .

    The shares did not go up and down – they stayed the same –

    No other British Citizen to date has lost their savings – Many other Directors in other Financial Insts made in hindsight, unwise lending, with people’s savings – could you imagine what would have happened if the Government hadn’t stepped in to bail them out. It would be really bad if the Gov had said “hard luck mate your made a risky investment – you’ve lost – live with it!”.

    This Financial Institution/ Credit Institution was allowed to operate in Northern Ireland – with £320 million of people’s savings – how come this was allowed??

    Savers believed what they read – like in any other Financial Inst on the High Street. – Are we saying that anyone can set up a Financial Inst in NI and have no need to be regulated? Don’t think so.

    And remember they are not asking for help as their house prices have fallen, their shares in RBS are reduced or their investments have made a loss ………….. They only want their savings back out of the PMS which is what they believed they were doing when they lodged their money in a “SUPPOSEDLY” safe place.

    They deserve their money back in full- and if the Government can stop dithering and get on with the job of resolving this – it can be done without any cost to the taxpayer.!!!

  • I reiterate, the people I met where from congregation in a disadvantaged inner city community. Incredibly they raised (givings from meagre and taxed earnings) a large sum of money and borrowed more from PMS to invest in creating facilities to serve the community. They placed all on deposit awaiting permissions and commencement of the project. Now the entire enterprise (a great example of Big Society) is endangered.

  • Thomas

    The PMS savers deserve their money back in full. They should not be penalised for failures by the Society Directors, DETINI or the British Government under Direct Rule for failing to ensure that a proepr regulatiory framework was in place.. HMG also caused the run on withdrawals by introducing the £50k guarantee scheme.. Government must take full responsibilty for a gap in the regulations and for not ensuring that there was a regime in place in NI for putting an Industrial & Provident Society into administration. DETINI wrecked 27 years of mutality by its failures and by transferring the Society into a Company without taking a vote from the members. Now there exists an artifical distinction between share and loan holders. This debacle is not the fault of the savers that is is for sure. Gordon Brown, Shaun Woodward procrastinated for 17 months and set up artificial technical arguements such as investors not savers which is nonesense. Suddenly before the election a hastily prepared Plan B appears which is £50k short and which propses a hardship fund and means testing. How insulting and demeaning. No other saver has lost out in the UK but the PMS members have and why not means test them at the same time!! That is what Ministers Robinson, McGuinness, Foster and Wilson think of the small savers many of whom are vulnerable and elderly. At least with a new government in place things are moving quickly. A grave injustice has been done and it must be righted without further delay. Presbyterian savers are being discriminated against for trying to help their Churches and put savings away at the same time. The majority of the savers are elderly many in their 80’s and they and many others have suffered terribly as a direct result of the failures of those who were duty bound top protect them. None of what has happened is the fault of the savers and they deserve to be fully compensated.

  • Seymour Major

    The crisis is one of time, to a large extent. With the current trend of the property market in the UK, the Society could be solvent, after re-valuation, within the 3 years.

    The easiest thing to do would be if the Government just pay the £300m and acquire the assets and sit on them until just before the Olympic Games. The loss to the Treasury would then be fairly minimal.

  • “They only want their savings back out of the PMS which is what they believed they were doing when they lodged their money in a “SUPPOSEDLY” safe place.” ….. venus says: 22 July 2010 at 5:03 pm

    So they were duped by the fraudsters, who were running the scam, who are just common criminals, venus? Let PMS savers then sue THEM for every penny that they are owed. It has nothing to do with the likes of a Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Owen Paterson, and attended by NI First and Deputy First Ministers Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness, Finance Minister Sammy Wilson, Northern Ireland Minister Hugo Swire and Mark Hoban, financial secretary to the Treasury, unless they are are of course complicit.

    And doesn’t everyone yet know …. There is no money, it is all lost.

  • Thomas

    Very aptly named!! by aall accounts.

  • IT is but AI Stealthy DOSGuise, Thomas.

    Loughside Treasure Trove.