New hope for Presbyterian Mutual Society savers

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

A resolution for savers caught up in the collapse of the Presbyterian Mutual Society is moving closer, Secretary of State Owen Paterson has said.

Thousands of people have been unable to access their money since the society entered administration in 2008.

Mr Paterson said a Ministerial Working Group on the society had made significant progress.

He said he was confident a resolution could be outlined in the context of next week's Spending Review.

Support savers

"We remain committed to ensuring a fair and just resolution which will balance the interests of members and taxpayers," he said.

The Presbyterian Church and political leaders from across the divide in Northern Ireland have lobbied for two years for a method to be found to support savers.

First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness have held talks on the issue with the Labour government and the current coalition administration.

The Presbyterian Church welcomed Tuesday's announcement.

Former Moderator Dr Stafford Carson who is leading the Church's response said: "Savers who have had no access to their own money for two years will be relieved to hear Mr Paterson's assurance that a way forward can be outlined soon."

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