Northern Ireland

Presbyterian Church could face £5m bill on PMS

PMS name plate
Image caption Thousands of PMS members have been unable to retrieve their savings

The Presbyterian Church may have to pay up to £5m towards a bail-out fund for the Presbyterian Mutual Society.

The government has said it will provide £25m in cash and a £175m loan to the Presbyterian Mutual Society (PMS).

The NI Executive will also provide £25m if agreement is reached, but it is believed it could now ask for more from the church than the expected £1m.

The PMS crashed in November 2008, owing almost 10,000 investors money.

Since then, larger savers have received 12% of their money back. But, those with less than £20,000 saved got nothing.

If agreement on a rescue package is reached, it will not be in place until next April at the earliest.

The Presbyterian Church has denied any legal ties with the PMS but investors had to be Presbyterians to join.

Chancellor George Osborne confirmed the government would provide £25m in cash and a £175m loan during his Spending Review speech last month.

He said he recognised that savers with the society had suffered for "far too long".

In April, a proposal put forward by the Northern Ireland Executive included plans for the Treasury to provide a loan of £175m.

It was understood that the money would be lent to the administrator who would pay the money back through rental income from PMS properties and eventual asset sales when the market improved.

That plan also included a £50m fund for savers.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites