Working group to look into issue of PMS investors

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?