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Presbyterian Mutual savers' scheme proposed

Presbyterian Mutual Society (PMS) savers will receive at least 77pc of their money back, the administrator of the troubled society has proposed.

Under the plans, the group's 10,000 creditors and members would receive more than £232m by early July.

The PMS was placed in administration in November 2008. Since then, those with larger sums saved have received 12pc of their money back but nothing was paid to members with shares worth up to £20,000.

The scheme was proposed after £225m was provided in assistance from the Government and £1m from the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.

A further £6m has been made from income accrued by the society during the administration period.

In a letter to savers, administrator Arthur Boyd said: "The scheme ensures that the minimum return that anyone will receive will be 77pc of their outstanding total holdings in the society."

He said while there were insufficient sums to pay everyone what they were owed by the society, the scheme should be adopted because it produced a better and quicker return to creditors and members than they could otherwise get.

If it was rejected, the offer of money from the Government and Presbyterian Church would be withdrawn and the alternative would be liquidation of the society's assets. The return then would be 72pc to creditors who had larger amounts invested and nothing to less wealthy members.

The letter added: "The details of the scheme of arrangement follow the principle of fairness that underlies the rescue package provided by the Government, in that those with greater amounts in the society should receive proportionately less in order to ensure that the so-called small savers receive all or nearly all of what they are owed."

If accepted, the scheme means creditors will be paid all their outstanding debt but will be required to defer 15pc of this amount for up to a decade to fund payments to members with less set aside.

Because most savers have a combination of shares, paid for holdings worth up to £20,000, and loan certificates, held by those with more than £20,000, the scheme proposes a sliding scale of repayments to members.

Smaller savers will receive at least a 97pc return.

PA Media