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Brown to hold talks on Presbyterian Mutual Society

Prime Minister Gordon Brown will today hold talks with Northern Ireland's political leaders on the future of stricken financial institution, the Presbyterian Mutual Society (PMS).

The organisation went into administration in late 2008 putting the savings of 10,000 people at risk, but the body did not qualify for government support.

First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness will meet Mr Brown in London for talks on the efforts of Stormont politicians to secure government aid for the PMS.

The fate of the financial institution was raised in the recent Hillsborough castle talks between Northern Ireland politicians and the government.

Last night Mr Robinson said: "Almost 10,000 people have been affected by the collapse of the Presbyterian Mutual Society, I am determined that their plight will not be forgotten.

"I and my Executive colleagues will continue to press the Prime Minister and the Treasury until a satisfactory solution to this problem is found."

Mr McGuinness said: "Many people have put their trust in the PMS and found themselves victims of circumstances way beyond their control.

"I believe there is a responsibility on Gordon Brown and the British government to ensure that they do not incur losses to what for many are their life savings."

The two leaders today expect to discuss the problems faced by Presbyterian Mutual Society savers and to receive an update on the situation from Mr Brown.

The Treasury Select Committee chaired by John McFall recently visited the Assembly in Belfast to hear from savers who said they had entrusted their money to the PMS because they felt reassured by its links to the Presbyterian Church.

Some told the Committee they believed the PMS had over invested in the property market. When the international financial crisis sparked the institution's collapse, it did not qualify for the support offered by central government.

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