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Ashamed at Church's role in the PMS fiasco

I AM very disappointed in the article by Alf McCreary in your newspaper (Saturday Review, Dec 4). Alf is looking for ordinary taxpayers to pay for the losses sustained by PMS shareholders, and gives the impression that the Presbyterian Church is jolly decent in undertaking £1m to "try and help out" - this is less than one third of a percent (0.3%) of the valuation of the funds before the catastrophe.

Let's be realistic. The PMS was established in 1982 by the Presbyterian Church to encourage Presbyterians to save through their own Church.. It was not set up as a savings fund, but was established as a society with shareholders and to accept loans from shareholders.

The Presbyterian Church appointed the board of directors - retired ministers and laymen of the Church to undertake responsibility for the mutual benefit of all its Presbyterian investors. The PMS clearly states on its brochure, "For investment and loans".

The PMS was promoted by the Presbyterian Church, in churches, in General Assembly and in church magazines.

The investors in PMS were given the impression the Presbyterian Church had very much to do with the PMS, and are now greatly upset at the Presbyterian Church's "PMS was a separate legal entity" statement.

To use the Northern Ireland expression, "even the dogs in the street" know that the Presbyterian Church has behaved despicably in this fiasco. As a Presbyterian, I am ashamed of the Church's conduct.




From Belfast Telegraph