Over the Christmas period the DUP’s Jeffrey Donaldson was keen to suggest that a local bank was interested in taking over the illegally operating Presbyterian Mutual Society – the NI First Minister stated in Oct 2009 that “Initial discussions at official level with some local banks have already begun”, and the deputy First Minister in Nov 2009 “One of the options being explored involves the participation of a financial institution in a funding package.” Today the BBC reports that
Arthur Boyd, who was appointed as PMS administrator in November 2008, applied for a five year extension to his firm’s current term which expires in May. The judge said he was “minded” to agree to the application provided a mechanism was put in place to allow investors to oversee how the PMS was being run. The case was adjourned for three weeks.
During Thursday’s High Court hearing, Arthur Boyd’s legal representative accepted that the five year extension was an unusual request but said that it was an unusual set of circumstances and the additional time would allow his client to deal with the society’s assets in an appropriate matter.
Mr Shaw said they included 13 investment properties spread throughout in England, Scotland and the Isle of Mann, the Glengall Exchange building in Belfast and the PMS loan book.
He told the court that it would not be in PMS members’ interests to sell the assets in the current market.
He added that the mutual society was currently in receipt of £7.3m in annual rent from its investment properties.
Mr Shaw also said his client had offered to report to the court at six month intervals to give an up-to-date account of the running of the society.