PMS investors to vote on £226m rescue package
A High Court judge has given permission for members of the collapsed Presbyterian Mutual Society to be allowed to vote on a £226m rescue package.
Mr Justice Deeny granted an administrator's application for the proposed scheme to be put to investors in a postal ballot.
If 75% of creditors accept the plans then a further request will be made to the court to sanction repayments to members.
Up to 10,000 investors lost access to their savings when the PMS crashed in November 2008.
A package put together in a bid to return some money to those affected includes a £175m Treasury loan.
Another £50m has been put forward from the UK Government and Northern Ireland Executive.
The Presbyterian Church is to donate a further £1m to the pot which administrator Arthur Boyd hopes to be able to make payments from by June.
As part of that process his lawyers sought necessary legal approval to put the proposals to all PMS members.
The court was told it would involve a postal vote, with information sent out to savers and clarification meetings held at locations across Northern Ireland.
Stephen Shaw QC, for Mr Boyd, said: “We’re anxious that time shouldn’t slip away and payment, if approved and sanctioned, is made as soon as possible.”
It was set out how both smaller savers with less than £20,000 and those with larger investments would receive more through the proposed scheme than if the PMS went into liquidation.
The judge was told it would be “perverse” for objections to be raised.
Granting the application, Mr Justice Deeny said it would not have been appropriate if the plans contained any “fatal flaw”.
He added: “I'm satisfied there is no flaw, and it is appropriate to grant the application by Mr Boyd.”
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The PMS went into administration in 2008 in the wake of the international banking crisis, leaving nearly 10,000 people unable to access their savings. The society originally hit problems when |members began to withdraw their cash in 2008, while the society was not covered by the Government guarantee scheme protecting other |financial institutions.