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Pensions Board loans

by
11 April 2014

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From Mr Martin A. Henwood
Sir, - Your long report on the Pensions Board's being accused of immoral loans to its pensioners (News, 4 April) is a classic example of how not to deal with a complaint.

The shared-equity loan interest paid by on the property by the good cleric has been at an interest rate of less than three per cent above base rate over the period. If the profit available on the property is taken into account, the loan has been made at less than base rate over the period: interest cost £34,000. That's a fantastic deal, and it's good to see the Church being fair and looking after its pensioners.

The "profit" attributed to the Pensions Boardis about 5.5 per cent above base rate across the period, which is low, given the risk involved, and achieved only because of a long-term commitment and a booming property market at present. That return will, no doubt, go down when the current bubble bursts, but the long-term commitment will not.

The Pensions Commissioners may want to find out, however, why reasonable questions were not answered, and what the administrators' approach is to risk-management, as there is an evident weakness when it comes to reputational risk-assessment.

MARTIN A. HENWOOD
24 High Street
Bidford on Avon
Alcester B50 4BU

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