Church puts £1m to Presbyterian aid
The Presbyterian Church in Ireland agreed today to pay £1m into a proposed hardship fund to help those who lost life savings when the Presbyterian Mutual Society (PMS) went under.
Delegates at a special assembly meeting of the church's 1,200-strong decision-making panel in Belfast voted to make the contribution to a potential £200 million-plus state rescue package for investors in the ill-fated financial institution.
The bail-out plan, tabled by the Stormont Executive, has still to be approved by the UK Treasury and, with a change of government possible after the General Election, it is not yet certain it will be implemented.
An estimated 10,000 investors were hit when the Northern Ireland-based society collapsed at the height of the banking crisis 18 months ago.
While the state would provide the vast majority of the bail out money in the form of loans, the church had been asked to stump up £1m.
Though the church has no direct link to the PMS, congregation members claimed clergy promoted the society as a sound investment before the trouble struck.