“What would you do to help the savers In the Presbyterian Mutual Society?”

The issue of the illegally operating Presbyterian Mutual Society, and those Presbyterian investors, continues to grumble on despite the acceptance of the administrator’s deal. Will Crawley, guesting on Talkback this month, notes on his blog, “Serious questions are being asked by PMS members about the way this crisis has been handled by Church House officials”. Other supernaturalists – in the Catholic, Anglican and Methodist churches – have expressed their “hope that the Northern Ireland Executive and the UK Government will take urgent action to resolve these difficulties”. And apparently, at the recent CameronDirect event in Ballymena, the question was put to Dave – “What would you do to help the savers In the Presbyterian Mutual Society?”

David Cameron: “I think this is a really, really difficult question because, on the one hand, there is a sort of technical reason why the savers in the Presbyterian Mutual Society haven’t been helped, because that Society wasn’t regulated by the Financial Services Authority. So it was outside the rules that were operating In the rest of the United Kingdom and that’s why they are not being helped.

But I do understand the real sense of unfairness that people feel because they look at, say the Dunfermline [Building] Society in Scotland, or they look at Northern Rock or they look at other organisations and they say; ‘hold on, we’re all part of the United Kingdom, we’re all part of this family. Why is this financial organisation not being helped?’ So I think the Government needs to look again.

Statement re Presbyterian Mutual Society

“We have become increasingly aware of the difficulties faced by people whose access to their savings has been blocked by the Presbyterian Mutual Society being placed in Administration. Since assistance has been offered to others, it is our hope that the Northern Ireland Executive and the UK Government will take urgent action to resolve these difficulties”.

Cardinal Sean Brady (Catholic Archbishop of Armagh)
Archbishop Alan Harper (Anglican Archbishop of Armagh)
Rev. Aian Ferguson (President of the Methodist Church)

29th May 2009

And the transcript of the Cameron Direct event in Ballymena

Questioner: “What would you do to help the savers In the Presbyterian Mutual Society?

David Cameron: “I think this is a really, really difficult question because, on the one
hand, there is a sort of technical reason why the savers in the Presbyterian Mutual Society haven’t been helped, because that Society wasn’t regulated by the Financial Services Authority. So it was outside the rules that were operating In the rest of the United Kingdom and that’s why they are not being helped.

But I do understand the real sense of unfairness that people feel because they look at, say the Ounfillnllne SOCiety in Scotland, or they look at Northern Rock or they look at other organisations and they say; ‘hold on, we’re all part of the United Kingdom, we’re all part of this family. Why is this financial organisation not being helped?’

So I think the Government needs to look again.

You will have noticed this country is completely strapped for cash. We are borrowing 12.6% of our national output. I cannot stand here and make spending promises, but what I can tell you is that if I were the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, I would have a really good look to whether we are treating these people fairly: because I think they do have a ease to say, hold on a second, this is a UK organisation, guarantees should be extended to it rather than to other organisations, and it was the very extension of the guarantee to the other financial organisations that actually caused it’s difficulties.

So I think there is a real case for the Prime Minister to look again and I would urge him to do so.”