Regulator opens statutory inquiry into Life Line Missions

The Christian poverty-relief charity had been added to the Charity Commission's class inquiry in 2013 for failing to file annual returns for two years in a row

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into the Christian poverty-relief charity Life Line Missions over serious regulatory and financial concerns.

The Hertfordshire-based charity, which first registered with the commission in 2001, was added in November 2013 to the commission’s ongoing class inquiry, which investigates charities that have failed to file their annual returns two years in a row.

The investigation revealed that the charity no longer had a bank account, and the commission opened a statutory inquiry on 11 November 2015.

In a statement on its website, the commission said: "After failing to receive acceptable responses from the trustees, the class inquiry then exercised its power to obtain information from the charity’s bankers.

"This established that the charity’s bank accounts were closed in December 2013 and identified substantial discrepancies with income and expenditure disclosed by the charity in its accounts, annual returns and with the charity’s bank statements."

The commission said issues to be examined would include whether the trustees complied with the charity’s governing document, discharged their duties to safeguard the charity’s property, maintained adequate accounting and financial controls and records, and ensured the charity’s funds were used for the charity’s purposes.

According to its entry on the commission’s website, the charity had an income of £255,000 and spent £254,091 in the year to 31 March 2012. This fell to an income of £7,000 and spending of £6,750 in the year to 31 March 2014.

Third Sector was unable to contact the charity for comment.

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