Nick and Owen on the PMS

Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, came to Northern Ireland yesterday, and had a number of things to say about the coalition government’s approach to Northern Ireland. You can read them here.

In the last paragraph he comments on the PMS crisis.

I should add that the new government is very mindful of the need to resolve the serious hardship faced by members of the Presbyterian Mutual Society. The Ministerial working group has been restored under the Chairmanship of the Secretary of State. And we are working intensively to find a fair and just resolution. And we know we must find it very soon.

It’s the “fair and just” phrase again. In the context of the UK where “no British saver lost a penny” in the financial crisis, we can only understand “fair and just” to mean that no PMS saver will lose a penny.

Earlier this week the Secretary of State, Owen Paterson, spoke at the Conservative Party conference, and he made this precise point about other UK savers. This is what he said:

And I want to say something today to one group of people. Last year, referring to the banking crisis, Gordon Brown boasted that ‘not one British saver has lost a single penny’

In saying this he completely ignored those investors in the Presbyterian Mutual Society who saw their money disappear. During the election David Cameron and I pledged a just and fair resolution of this crisis.

We’ve been working hard on this with the Northern Ireland Executive.

And we will honor that pledge.

It’s encouraging to hear two members of the Cabinet making the same point. We await the actions.

14 Replies to “Nick and Owen on the PMS”

  1. The point is that unlike the other bailed out organisations the PMS was brought down by panic not because it was insolvent as I understand.
    thus it was the inability to pay out 100% of its deposits that caused the insolvency.
    The statements so far have been equivocal except the reference to other savers not having lost a penny. That statement is the nearest to a promise that all will be repaid in full that has been given. If there are difficulties with the EU then it is time that they were made known.

  2. Could you please enlighten me as to why,tax payers of different faiths and of no faith, should be expected to pay for the bail out of an exclusivly Presbyterian commercial business, from which people of other faiths and no faith were barred. Especialy since their own Church has neither the courage, nor the honesty,to admit their failure to properly supervise,the unauthorised commercial dealings of this unholy society.

  3. The answer is that Presbyterian taxes are being used to rescue every other British saver whose institution got into difficulties in the financial crisis of 2008-09. Why should Presbyterian savers be the only ones who are discriminated against?

  4. We as savers should be adjusting ourselves to being offered something less than 100p to the pound. It is wishful thinking to expect full repayment. It is to be hoped that a partial, but substantial, repayment will not be rejected out of hand. We have wited long enough.

  5. @JSC
    The problem with your answer is plainly obvious Stafford ,Presbyterians where not barred from membership of the bailed out institutions,but people of different faiths and no faith, were barred from membership of the Presbyterian Mutual. Or as we say in working class East Belfast”IT WAS A CLOSED SHOP”. With regard to your own performance Stafford,i must admit that although i totally disagree with your proactive unchristian attitude towards Women within the ministry.I have respect for the sincere efforts you have made on behalf of the innocent victims of the Presbyterian Mutual.I believe that if the hand washers who proceeded your tour of duty at Church House,had been a lot less Presbyterian and a bit more Christian,the collapse could have been avoided.

  6. When I was encouraged to invest my savings in the PMS I understood, like Charlie Freel, that this was a scheme to help Presbyterians. Since I now have been given to understand that some people who invested were not, in fact, Presbyterians, it would appear that Charlie is wrong about the PMS being a “Closed Shop”. Can you set me right as to the actual situation?

  7. I understood that the rules required that a saver be a Presbyterian. I have heard it claimed, but cannot confirm it, that some savers had very tenuous, and some no links to the Presbyterian Church.

  8. Am I correct in my understanding that those folk who had money in the PMS turned out not to be ‘savers’, but rather to be ‘investors’? If so, perhaps the UK context in which ‘no British saver lost a penny’ will not be relevant to PMS ‘investors’.

  9. @Mavis Jones
    Well Mavis, if yours and Staffords suspicions are correct,then the Presbyterian Mutuals rules of membership were clearly being breached.Possibly i suspect via the old boy back door network, of reciprocal back scratching. Which would mean that the suspected maladministration could run even deeper than first suspected. As for John Wilsons fears,I believe that in belated Christian repentance the Presbyterian Church will finally apologise and make full payment for any shortfall from the Government.

  10. We have consistently argued that PMS members were thrifty savers, not risk-taking investors, and therefore are covered by Gordon Brown’s proud boast that “no British saver has lost a penny”. The “shares” in PMS were simply savings and not akin to an equity style investment that moved up and down in the market.

  11. Dr Carson, you have consistently argued that, but there are quiet a few who think otherwise. There was plenty of “investing” going on and regardless of what may be argued, the fact remains that the mutual was operating outside its areas of competence, and some of those involved were there for the fast and relatively secure buck!

    Now many ordinary savers have been stung, but had the PMS been operated properly, had it been properly regulated etc, I daresay any rescue plan wold have been much easier

  12. i,ve been a saver with the P.M.S. for many years and nobody has ever asked me what religion i am .

  13. Good news and a sincere thankyou to you all in the lobby group. I feel that all savers should have their money returned immediately with the 200 million promised and the churches with money invested WAIT until the matter is resolved.

    Anne Graham

  14. I also thank Dr Carson and all involved in the Lobby Group. Also the many Polititions who have argued for a just and fair end to our situation. However Christmas is coming with no sign of a resolution to the PMS problem. It would appear that many Savers will have a third lean Christmas. Why has everything stopped now when their appears to be a means to a partial end. Is there any possibility of a further payout from the rental income before Christmas.One must realize that all savers also held an amount under £20,000 as they could not have Loan Notes otherwise.

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