Presbyterian Church asks PM to guarantee savings
The Presbyterian Moderator has asked the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, to guarantee the savings of members of the Presbyterian Mutual Society, while at the same time confirming that the Presbyterian Church itself 'cannot in any way underwrite the commitments of the Society'. The Presbyterian Mutual Society exists as a separate legal entity from the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, though its membership is restricted to members of the Church. It currently holds some 9,500 shareholders' accounts throughout Ireland. In the year to March 31, 2008, it recorded assets of some £300m.
The Presbyterian Church's press statement continues: 'The situation which has arisen is part of the wider credit crunch which seems to have taken everyone by surprise. The Mutual Society found in recent weeks that the requests to withdraw money have far exceeded the liquid cash funds which are available. Of course in the longer term the assets of the Society are in loans and property which are secure and can be realised, although this is not the best time to sell property. The Directors are rightly asking for time to handle the situation in the best way for everyone, but of course that may not be how this develops.'