Bank stands over advert highlighting woes of PMS
A bank has defended a controversial advertisement in Belfast city centre which makes reference to the financial problems of the Presbyterian Mutual Society (PMS).
The Nationwide Building Society advert uses the headline: 'Presbyterian Mutual Society in administration'. It then says: 'Choose a solid place for your money'.
The PMS went into administration in November 2008 after a run on withdrawals.
DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson (below) said the advert in Belfast could have been handled "in a more sensitive way".
He said: "The reality is that building societies are safer because they are covered by the Government's guarantee scheme. The one concern I would have is that the advert could perhaps be seen to exploit a commercial advantage.
"In the current financial climate it is dog eat dog, so I suppose financial institutions will resort to these tactics."
A spokesperson for Nationwide defended the advert as a means of highlighting the bank as "a safe place for savers' deposits".
In response to the advert, A Presbyterian Church spokesman said he was "delighted that PMS savers have had most of their money returned to them to invest in whatever 'solid place' their financial advisers suggest".
The PMS was placed in administration in November 2008, affecting around 10,000 people. A rescue package underwritten by the UK Government and the Northern Ireland Executive was agreed in May. It allowed for smaller savers, who invested less than £20,000 with the PMS, to get all of their money back.
Larger investors would receive 85% now, with the remaining 15% dependent on the disposal of PMS properties and other assets.