Money matters

David Ainsworth's round-up of what's happening in the finance world

- The Co-operative Bank is launching a new specialist charities team for organisations in the north of England. The team, headed by senior manager Barbara Hodgson (above), will be based at the bank's offices in Manchester and will offer banking services to charities with turnovers in excess of £1m. Hodgson joins a team including Debbie Wheeler, head of the bank's specialist charity unit, and Colin Walton, senior manager of the London office.

- Water regulator Ofwat will investigate whether water bills for amateur sports clubs are too high, sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe told a Commons debate on the future of community sport. Sutcliffe said many clubs had seen bills increase because of new drainage charges. During the debate, several MPs also called for the Government to give small sports clubs the same exemption as charities from charges for playing music.

- A website to help investors link up with social enterprises that need money has been launched by social finance consultancy Catalyst. The website,, is intended to bring together social businesses and enterprises with investors and suppliers, and to provide investors with the information they need to speak to companies.

- An information session to help staff and trustees understand charity finances will be held by Northern Irish umbrella body Nicva on 9 April. The event, which runs from 12.30pm to 4.30pm, is free for full Nicva members. Speakers include Seamus McAleavey (below), chief executive of Nicva.

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