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Foster offers help to Presbyterian Mutual Society

Friday, 14 November 2008

Urgent legislation has been passed to give the Presbyterian Mutual Society the option of going into administration or a voluntary arrangement, following recent reports of its financial difficulties.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster announced today the making of subordinate legislation which gives the Presbyterian Mutual Society, (PMS) the choice of entering a company voluntary arrangement or administration.

The making of this legislation represents the exercise by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment of its power under Article 10(2) of the Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 2005 to provide for company arrangement or administration procedures to apply to a Society.

The Minister said: “In the current economic climate it is very challenging for families and individuals to manage their finances and I want to do everything within my powers to help those affected through this uncertain time.

“I have considered all the options available to me as Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment and this legislation enables the Presbyterian Mutual Society to enter a company voluntary arrangement or administration.

Arlene Foster continued: “Administration would afford the PMS time

to reorganise their business and an opportunity for the Administrator to manage the Society’s affairs with a view to safeguarding its assets and funds and preserving the interests of its members.

“Alternatively, a Voluntary Arrangement would enable PMS to seek the agreement of its creditors, to pay them part or all of what they are owed over a period of time.

“The Northern Ireland Executive has agreed on this way forward and acted quickly, in these exceptional circumstances, to help protect the finances of families. I hope this step to introduce legislation will make a difference and go some way to reassuring those affected.”

ment of Enterprise Trade and Investment open to legislate more generally for qualifying Industrial and Provident Society’s (IPS) at a later date if considered necessary or desirable.

Notes to Editors:

  1. HM Treasury consulted on legislation affecting, interalia, GB registered IPS’s in June 2007. The response received was that a company arrangement / administration procedures regime was desirable. HMT expect to make a Legislative Reform Order to bring such a regime into effect next year.
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